Gravitational wave detectors could shed light on dark matter

October 3, 2017
Schematic illustration of the cloud formed around a spinning black hole. The black hole loses energy E_S and angular momentum L_S through the growth of the cloud and emission of gravitational waves. Accretion of gas from the disk transports energy E_ACC and angular momentum L_ACC. The balance between these phenomena depends on the mass of the particles forming the cloud, and it determines whether the cloud can grow. Credit: University of Mississippi

A global team of scientists, including two University of Mississippi physicists, has found that the same instruments used in the historic discovery of gravitational waves caused by colliding black holes could help unlock the secrets of dark matter, a mysterious and as-yet-unobserved component of the universe.

The research findings by Emanuele Berti, UM associate professor of physics and astronomy, Shrobana Ghosh, a graduate student, and their colleagues appears in the September issue of Physical Review Letters, one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed academic journals in the field. "Stochastic and resolvable gravitational waves from ultralight bosons" is co-authored by fellow scientists Richard Brito, Enrico Barausse, Vitor Cardoso, Irina Dvorkin, Antoine Klein and Paolo Pani.

The nature of dark matter remains unknown, but scientists estimate that it is five times as abundant as ordinary matter throughout the universe.

"The nature of dark matter is one the greatest mysteries in physics," Berti said. "It is remarkable that we can now do particle physics – investigate the "very small" – by looking at gravitational-wave emission from , the largest and simplest objects in the universe."

PRL is one of several publications produced by the American Physical Society and American Institute of Physics. It contains papers considered to represent significant advances in research, and therefore, published quickly in short, letter format for a broad audience of physicists.

This paper details calculations by the scientists, who work in Germany, France, Italy, Portugal and the U.S., show that gravitational-wave interferometers can be used to indirectly detect the presence of dark matter.

A companion paper by the team, "Gravitational wave searches for ultralight bosons with LIGO and LISA," also has been accepted and will appear in Physical Review D.

Calculations show that certain types of dark matter could form giant clouds around astrophysical black holes. If ultralight scalar particles exist in nature, fast-spinning black holes would trigger the growth of such scalar "condensates" at the expense of their rotational energy, producing a cloud that rotates around the black hole, now more slowly-spinning, and emits gravitational waves, pretty much like a giant lighthouse in the sky.

"One possibility is that dark matter consists of scalar fields similar to the Higgs boson, but much lighter than neutrinos," Pani said. "This type of dark matter is hard to study in particle accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, but it may be accessible to gravitational-wave detectors."

The team led by Brito studied gravitational waves emitted by the "black hole plus cloud" system. Depending on the mass of the hypothetical particles, the signal is strong enough to be detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, with instruments in Louisiana and Washington, and its European counterpart Virgo, as well as by the future space mission Laser Interferometer Space Antenna.

"Surprisingly, gravitational waves from sources that are too weak to be individually detectable can produce a strong stochastic background," Brito said. "This work suggests that a careful analysis of the background in LIGO data may rule out – or detect – ultralight dark by gravitational-wave interferometers.

"This is a new, exciting frontier in astroparticle physics that could shed light on our understanding of the microscopic universe."

LIGO has been offline for a few months for upgrades. The team plans to announce new, exciting results from its second observing run soon.

"Our work shows that careful analysis of stochastic in the data they have already taken may be used to place interesting constraints on the nature of ," Berti said.

This innovative work "confirms the high quality of the work in astroparticle physics and gravitational-wave astronomy done by members of the gravitational physics group at UM, widely recognized as one of the leaders in the field," said Luca Bombelli, chair and professor of and astronomy at Ole Miss.

Explore further: Fourth gravitational wave is detected, with European help

More information: Richard Brito et al. Stochastic and Resolvable Gravitational Waves from Ultralight Bosons, Physical Review Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.131101

Gravitational wave searches for ultralight bosons with LIGO and LISA. arXiv. arxiv.org/abs/1706.06311

Related Stories

New gravitational wave data analysis now underway

September 21, 2017

Penn State LIGO physicists are members of the LIGO-Virgo collaboration to detect and characterize gravitational waves. The collaboration now is completing a very exciting Second Observing Run that is drawing to a close on ...

Gravitational waves may oscillate, just like neutrinos

September 21, 2017

(Phys.org)—Using data from the first-ever gravitational waves detected last year, along with a theoretical analysis, physicists have shown that gravitational waves may oscillate between two different forms called "g" and ...

Recommended for you

12 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gsvasktg
1 / 5 (1) Oct 03, 2017
Space has a density of 3.6 E minus 25 kgs /cum and metric elasticityof 4 E +35 Newtonsm and
its components are in perpetual isciltion at C = 2.965 e+8 cycles per sec at ameter wavelength. The stress in the field of space at C is 9.35 E minus 35 kgs as mass of each unit and forms the neutrino. The neutrino represents the stress as the gravitational wave n the field of space .If the LIGO is reconstructed to measure the difference in stress due to the movement of earth in opposite sides instead of at right angle eve y gravitational wave can be measure as change in the frequency of the neutrino stream in opposite directions. When 7 neutrinos bunch together as a quantum the photon evolves .Visit www kapillavastu dot com to read about te axiomatic derivations of all manifest phenomena and the numerical values of Dark matter and energy and the density of the black hole.
gsvasktg
1 / 5 (2) Oct 03, 2017
As proof of the foregoing a NdFeb magnet driven rotary oscillator produces electric power continuously in a closed loop to charge batteries etc thus proving the perpetual dynamism of all manifest phenomena is an axiomatic principle . The machine in operation can be seen by any one and examined to see the axiomatic principles of its working mode.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (5) Oct 03, 2017
And you got all his from studying a Sanskrit writing...?
fthompson495
not rated yet Oct 03, 2017
There is evidence of the strongly interacting dark matter every time a double slit experiment is performed, it's what waves.
bsoghigian
not rated yet Oct 03, 2017
I would like to hear more about said Sanskirt writing.
Chris_Reeve
1 / 5 (1) Oct 03, 2017
Mainstream science wanders yet further into entrenched nonsense.
RealityCheck
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 03, 2017
@Forum.

From the above article:
The nature of dark matter remains unknown, but scientists estimate that it is five times as abundant as ordinary matter throughout the universe. "The nature of dark matter is one the greatest mysteries in physics," Berti said.
This is a perfect example of the sort of 'updating inertia' that bedevils most 'exercises' by HACK 'teams' of 'publish-or-perish' so-called 'researchers' in this totally 'fabricated' BB/Inflation/Dark Matter/Grav-waves 'field'.

For a start, the nature of the ORIGINALLY postulated ORDINARY Dark Matter is NOW KNOWN; because we have long been discovering MANY times the Previous Estimates of ordinary matter which we got WRONG early on because of uninformed assumptions and inadequate telescopes/instruments to detect it all back then.

How long will it take the 'thousands' of hack 'professors' and 'graduate students' inculcated for DECADES in the false BB/DM etc 'science/theory' HACK MILLS to update/correct themselves?
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (1) Oct 04, 2017
#GSV : Please show working ??
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Oct 04, 2017
I would like to hear more about said Sanskirt writing.

Everybody was Sanskri writin'
It was a little bit frightenin'

...

Anywho, here's your 100% trustworthy physics-crank detector algorithm: Whenever someone adds "etc." in a mess of scientese words to feign some broader knowledge - then you know you've caught one.

Example:
As proof of the foregoing a NdFeb magnet driven rotary oscillator produces electric power continuously in a closed loop to charge batteries etc


Mimath224
not rated yet Oct 04, 2017
I think the article is overall straight forward. If the inference of DM is by the gravitational influence then it would seem to me that an ultra sensitive GW detector could be useful. However, if it took colliding BH's to register on present technical instruments I would have thought it would take at least something as catastrophic to happen within, say a DM halo, to provide GW strong enough to be detected by our present technology.Since BH's colliding has been the first step would the next step on improved technology be, say, with neutron stars and so on. Having said that, such research is surely needed to determine whether we have DM or not. Like some help with this one please, someone?
saturnwatcher
3 / 5 (2) Oct 04, 2017
The problem I have with the entire concept of dark matter/dark energy is that every method of detection that has been attempted has failed, but the postulate of existence of dm/de continues on purely because we need them to balance out the equations, so to speak. In other words, we can't find it, we don't know what it is, but either these two mysterious things have to exist, or there is something seriously wrong with our present concepts of astrophysics. I am actually a little more inclined to accept the second possibility. The entire argument for an unknown, undetectable entity that has to exist for the benefit of preserving our belief system is uncomfortably close to one that we tend not to forgive when offered by another significant human belief system. Put simply, we are introducing a religious argument into science almost entirely out of desperation.
tallenglish
not rated yet Oct 13, 2017
My idea for DM is its the same stuff as matter, but opposite sping/charge and moving backward in time not forward (and dark energy is the same for light). If you think of time as a plane, photons travel along it, mass rises above it pushing down and dark matter sinks below pushing up. That gravity hill is what we need to look for, it is that gravity hill (stretching and squeezing the temporal plane that LIGO is measuring as gravity waves, the DM being what propagates the wave). I think DM also corals matter surrounding it with the gravity hill again - and its that which compresses hydrogen enough to start fusion (which is just when the inward preasure of DM equals the outward preasure of EM - thats the surface of a star) - anything that doesn't have enough KE to escape the gravity well and gravity hill will be relflected back in, everything else accelerrated away - which is a good expl for flares and the corona. Challenge is looking for the effect, not cause.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.