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Black holes and gravitational waves in models of minicharged dark matter

  • Cardoso, Vitor
  • Macedo, Caio F. B.
  • Pani, Paolo
  • Ferrari, Valeria
Publication Date
May 17, 2016
Submission Date
Apr 26, 2016
DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2016/05/054
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In viable models of minicharged dark matter, astrophysical black holes might be charged under a hidden $U(1)$ symmetry and are formally described by the same Kerr-Newman solution of Einstein-Maxwell theory. These objects are unique probes of minicharged dark matter and dark photons. We show that the recent gravitational-wave detection of a binary black-hole coalescence by aLIGO provides various observational bounds on the black hole's charge, regardless of its nature. The pre-merger inspiral phase can be used to constrain the dipolar emission of (ordinary and dark) photons, whereas the detection of the quasinormal modes set an upper limit on the final black hole's charge. By using a toy model of a point charge plunging into a Reissner-Nordstrom black hole, we also show that in dynamical processes the (hidden) electromagnetic quasinormal modes of the final object are excited to considerable amplitude in the gravitational-wave spectrum only when the black hole is nearly extremal. The coalescence produces a burst of low-frequency dark photons which might provide a possible electromagnetic counterpart to black-hole mergers in these scenarios.

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