Signatures of ultralight bosons around black-holes: impact of non-gravitational interactions


  • Call:

    PT-CERN Call 2022/2

  • Academic Year:


  • Domain:

    Astroparticle Physics

  • Supervisor:

    Richard Brito

  • Co-Supervisor:

    Chen Yuan

  • Institution:

    Instituto Superior Técnico (Universidade de Lisboa)

  • Host Institution:

    CENTRA - Center for astrophysics and gravitation

  • Abstract:

    The detection of gravitational waves has opened a new era for the study of the Universe, giving us a new tool to probe the nature of compact astrophysical objects and their environments. In the coming decades, a variety of current and future experiments will continue to study gravitational waves, such as LIGO/Virgo, LISA, Einstein Telescope (ET), and others, providing unique opportunities to solve a variety of longstanding problems in astrophysics, cosmology, and particle physics. In particular, the possibility to exploit gravitational wave detectors to study dark matter has recently gained a lot of interest. An interesting source of possible detectable gravitational waves are boson “clouds” that can form around spinning black holes. These clouds are composed of ultralight bosons: particles with masses below the eV scale predicted in a multitude of beyond Standard Model scenarios and whose existence has also been proposed as a possible solution to the dark matter problem. The existence of such condensates could have dramatic impact in dynamics of black holes dynamics and lead to a plethora of signatures, including gravitational wave signatures. This thesis aims at exploring those signals, in particular we will aim at understanding how non-gravitational couplings affect such signatures. Namely, studying the shape of these gravitational wave signals and with the appropriate data analysis techniques, we will explore how current (LIGO/Virgo) and future (LISA/ET) facilities can be then used to obtain information about the nature of the particles that compose the clouds.