Hunting for axions and new short-range forces with AMO-based sensors

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We normally think of large accelerators and large-scale cosmic events when we consider the frontiers of elementary particle physics, pushing to understand the universe at higher and higher energy scales. However, several tabletop low-energy experiments are posed to discover a wide range of new physics beyond the Standard model, where feeble interactions require precision measurements rather than high energies.  In our experiments, high-Q resonant sensors enable ultra-sensitive force and field detection. In this talk I will describe two applications of these sensors in searches for new physics, based on techniques in atomic-molecular-and optical (AMO) physics. First, I will discuss an experiment which uses laser-cooled optically trapped silica nanospheres to search for corrections to Newtonian gravity at micron distances with zeptonewton sensitivity.  Finally, I will discuss the Axion Resonant InterAction Detection Experiment (ARIADNE), a new precision magnetometry experiment using laser-polarized 3-He gas to search for a notable dark-matter candidate: the QCD axion.