Ph.D. Candidate: Mae Teo
Research Advisor: Savas Dimopoulos
Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Time: 2 PM
Location: Varian 355
Title: Black Hole Superradiance Signatures of Ultralight Vectors
Black holes are useful tools in the search for Physics beyond the Standard Model. A particle lighter than 10^-11 eV has a Compton wavelength comparable to the horizon size of astrophysical black holes, and can form bound states around the black hole, similar to an atom. If the particle is bosonic, it can be produced by coherent enhancement around a rotating black hole through a process known as black hole superradiance. This process results in the exponential growth in occupation number of some bound states, while extracting energy and angular momentum from the black hole.
While black hole superradiance of scalar particles has been well-studied, vector particles put a spin on the dynamics and phenomenology. Vector bound states are qualitatively different, and can grow on timescales as short as a second around stellar black holes, up to a thousand times faster than their scalar counterparts. Once populated, the particles in these bound states annihilate to gravitons, producing continuous monochromatic gravitational radiation, which could be observed by current and future gravitational wave observatories. Advanced LIGO may measure up to thousands of annihilation signals from within the Milky Way, while black holes born in binary mergers across the observable universe may superradiate bosonic bound states and become new beacons of monochromatic gravitational waves.