“The really exciting thing about primordial black holes is that there are so many mysteries that in principle they could explain,” says Stephen Hawking’s colleague, physicist Bernard Carr. “Not the least of them being the existence of dark matter and dark energy.” (more…)
“At first, we thought it was absurd,” said theoretical physicist Asimina Arvanitaki, at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, who proposes that black holes can be thought of as nature’s particle accelerators, and how we may be able to discover new particles through detection of the gravitational waves black holes create. “I’m not surprised. How else could you respond to the idea that black holes generate swirling clouds of planet-sized particles that could be the dark matter thought to hold galaxies together? We tend to think about particles as being tiny but, theoretically, there is no reason they can’t be as big as a galaxy.”
Astronomers have spotted a distant pair of titanic black holes each with a mass more than 800 million times that of our sun headed for a collision in a galaxy roughly 2.5 billion light-years away. The supermassive black holes (inset above) are lit up by warm gas and bright stars that surround the objects. The finding improves estimates of when astronomers will first detect gravitational waves emanating from the black hole pair “a million times louder than those detected by LIGO.”
Since the historic finding of gravitational waves from two black holes colliding over a billion light years away was made in 2015, physicists are advancing knowledge about the limits on the precision of the measurements that will help improve the next generation of LIGO tools and technology used by gravitational wave scientists.