How Black Holes And Gravitational Waves Might Help Us Find Dark Matter

galaxy, space, universe

We are all familiar with black holes, the highly dense points in space where gravity is so strong and matter is packed up so tight from which even light cannot escape. Now gravitational waves, first proposed by Einstein and confirmed by Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) are ripples in space time and caused objects turn space into a wibbly wobbly, timey-wimey thing. It is claimed that almost 85% of the matter in the universe is unaccounted for and is an absolute mystery, so they are called the dark matter. It is predicted dark matters with a billionth the mass of an electron or lighter and with enough of them, they might sum up to all the missing mass. The key pieces are a black hole, gravitational waves and a bunch of axions. In the quantum world, the axion particles should also act like waves, the lighter the particle the longer the wavelength.

In a Hypothetical manner, if an axion is near a spinning black hole with its wavelength as long as the black hole’s diameter, events go crazy. A phenomenon called Superradiance is a process that has been shown to multiply photons, and axions and photons share some common properties. The axion would get more energy from the spinning black hole, generating more axions in a runaway chain reaction like a Mr.Meeseek’s box, ending up with 10 to the power 80 axions around one black hole. All these axions should produce a distinct signature for detection. It is predicted that they won’t scatter randomly although they will form clouds as electrons do around an atom. On smashing with each other, they should annihilate one another producing gravitons(a hypothetical particle never confirmed).

The force of gravity is mediated by these gravitons proving helpful to us to detect them coming from those huge axion clouds in the form of gravitational waves. In order to have long wavelength, the axions should have to be much lighter than what we are currently searching for with current lab experiments, ranging from 10 thousand to 10 millions lighter. This makes them too light to account for all the dark matter. Once LIGO gets modified to detect gravitational waves with the same wavelength from different sources, then it will be understood that it’s likely to be caused by these axions and all pieces will fall apart.

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