Takis Kontos, CNRS research director in the Hybrid Quantum Circuits team of LPENS, is laureate of a 2023 ERC Synergy. His Dark Quantum project has the ambition to probe “dark” matter of the universe over a broad mass range thanks to the use of quantum amplification techniques.

There is a general consensus admitting that only a tiny fraction of the matter and energy of the universe has been identified so far. Highlighting and characterizing these components is one the major challenge of the physics nowadays. The paradigm of axions, hypothetical particles proposed in the 70’s in the context of the high-energy physics, is particularly promising. However the detection of this “dark” matter is still a challenge for standard techniques because of the very low expected signals.

The ERC Synergy Dark Quantum project has the ambition to examine in an exhaustive manner, the axion paradigm over a wide range of mass thanks to the use of quantum amplification techniques. These techniques allow one to probe signals with a precision only limited by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This project is a collaboration with expertise in particles physics, condensed matter physics, large scale cryogenics and quantum amplification. It will benefit in particular from the work of Takis Kontos on the interaction between mesoscopic matter and microwave light, in collaboration with Audrey Cottet, who will work on theoretical aspects. The other principal investigators in this project are Igor Irastorza (Zaragoza university), Sorin Paraoanu (Aalto university) and Wolfgang Wernsdorfer (KIT in Karlsruhe).


Author affiliation:
Laboratoire de physique de L’École normale supérieure (LPENS, ENS Paris/CNRS/Sorbonne Université/Université de Paris)

Corresponding author: Takis Kontos
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