Gravitational Collider Physics

John Stout
Harvard University
Monday, January 31, 2022
11:00 am
NS2 1201 and Zoom Seminar
There are many reasons to suspect that our universe contains ultralight bosonic fields that are extremely weakly-coupled to the Standard Model. How do we probe this weak coupling frontier? If an ultralight boson exists in our universe, a rapidly spinning black hole can spontaneously shed mass and angular momentum to form a large classical condensate of these bosons, whose structure is nearly identical to the quantum mechanical hydrogen atom. I will describe how this "gravitational atom" behaves when it participates in a black hole binary inspiral. I will show how its presence can have a dominant and highly distinguishable impact on the inspiral's resulting gravitational wave signal, which will allow us to turn future gravitational wave observatories into highly effective probes of weakly-coupled, beyond the Standard Model physics. 
Jonathan Feng