University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Wednesday HEP-GR Colloquium > Determining the origin of LIGO's merging black holes

Determining the origin of LIGO's merging black holes

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Although black holes can be the remnants of dead stars, it is also possible that primordial black holes exist, which formed long before stars. Such black holes are a dark matter candidate, and they could also explain some of the unexpected properties of the black hole mergers that LIGO has detected. I will summarise the evidence and challenges behind this claim, and then focus on how current and future data can be used to discriminate between astrophysical and primordial black holes. Finally, I will explain why the QCD transition during the early universe may lead to a large enhancement in the formation rate of primordial black holes with mass below the Chandrasekhar mass limit.

This talk is part of the Wednesday HEP-GR Colloquium series.

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