Gravimeter Search for Compact Dark Matter Objects Moving in the Earth

C. J. Horowitz, R. Widmer-Schnidrig

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8 Scopus citations


Dark matter could be composed of compact dark objects (CDOs). These objects may interact very weakly with normal matter and could move freely inside the Earth. A CDO moving in the inner core of the Earth will have an orbital period near 55 min and produce a time-dependent signal in a gravimeter. Data from superconducting gravimeters rule out such objects moving inside the Earth unless their mass mD and or orbital radius a are very small so that mDa<1.2×10-13MR. Here, Mand Rare the mass and radius of the Earth, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Physical Society.


We acknowledge helpful discussions with Tamara Bogdanovic, Matt Caplan, Nicole Kinsman, Rafael Lang, Cole Miller, Maria Alessandra Papa, and Walter Zürn. C. J. H. thanks the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover and the KITP in Santa Barbara for their hospitality. C. J. H. is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy Grants No. DE-FG02-87ER40365 and No. DE-SC0018083. The SG at BFO was funded jointly by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – Project No. 66823308, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Stuttgart University. We gratefully acknowledge the work of the operators of the superconducting gravimeters: Harry McQueen and Tadahiro Sato from the National Astronomical Observatory, Mizusawa for the Canberra station, and Thomas Forbriger and Peter Duffner from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology for the Black Forest Observatory. We thank the data centers for archiving and freely distributing the gravimetric data and Th. Forbriger for porting the eterna software package for tidal predictions to UNIX .

FundersFunder number
U.S. Department of EnergyDE-SC0018083, DE-FG02-87ER40365
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft66823308
Universität Stuttgart


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