Brown: Gravitational Waves Could Shed Light on the Origin of Black Holes

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Brown: Gravitational Waves Could Shed Light on the Origin of Black Holes

Postby bystander » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:39 pm

Gravitational Waves Could Shed Light on the Origin of Black Holes
Brown University | 2017 Nov 30

The detection of gravitational waves has given astronomers a new way of looking at the universe, and a new study shows how these ripples in the fabric of spacetime might confirm or rule out the existence of a certain type of black hole.

A new study published in Physical Review Letters outlines how scientists could use gravitational wave experiments to test the existence of primordial black holes, gravity wells formed just moments after the Big Bang that some scientists have posited could be an explanation for dark matter. ...

The idea is that shortly after the Big Bang, quantum mechanical fluctuations led to the density distribution of matter that we observe today in the expanding universe. It’s been suggested that some of those density fluctuations might have been large enough to result in black holes peppered throughout the universe. These so-called primordial black holes were first proposed in the early 1970s by Stephen Hawking and collaborators but have never been detected — it’s still not clear if they exist at all.

The ability to detect gravitational waves, as demonstrated recently by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), has the potential to shed new light on the issue. Such experiments detect ripples in the fabric of spacetime associated with giant astronomical events like the collision of two black holes. LIGO has already detected several black hole mergers, and future experiments will be able to detect events that happened much further back in time. ...

Maximum Redshift of Gravitational Wave Merger Events - Savvas M. Koushiappas, Abraham Loeb
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