Cataclysmic astrophysical occasions corresponding to black gap mergers might launch vitality in surprising varieties. Unique low-mass fields (ELFs), for instance, might propagate by area and trigger feeble alerts detectable with quantum sensor networks such because the atomic clocks of the GPS community or the magnetometers of the GNOME community.
These are the outcomes of theoretical calculations undertaken by a analysis group together with Dr. Arne Wickenbrock of the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence at Johannes Gutenberg College Mainz (JGU) and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM). They’re notably attention-grabbing within the context of the seek for darkish matter, as low-mass fields are thought to be promising candidates for this unique type of matter.
From multi-messenger astronomy to the seek for darkish matter
Multi-messenger astronomy includes the coordinated statement of disparate alerts that stem from the identical astrophysical occasion. Because the first detection of gravitational waves with the LIGO interferometer a number of years in the past, the curiosity on this subject has expanded enormously and it has yielded an amazing quantity of recent info originating from the depths of the universe.
“When gravitational waves are generated someplace in area and detected on Earth, quite a few telescopes now concentrate on the occasion to report numerous alerts, corresponding to these within the type of electromagnetic radiation, as an example,” explains Arne Wickenbrock. “We requested ourselves what would occur if a part of the noticed vitality launched by such occasions was additionally radiated within the type of unique low-mass fields or ELFs. Would we be capable to detect them with our present networks of quantum sensors?”
The scientists’ calculations have confirmed that this might be the case for sure parameters. “We additionally reasoned that such fields, when radiated, would trigger a attribute frequency signature within the networks,” provides Arne Wickenbrock. “The sign can be just like the sound of a passing siren, sweeping from excessive to low frequencies.”
The researchers have two explicit networks in thoughts: the worldwide GPS community of atomic clocks and the GNOME community, which is comprised of a mess of magnetometers distributed across the globe. On the premise of the anticipated energy of the sign, the GPS system ought to presently be delicate sufficient to detect ELFs. The work group of JGU Professor Dmitry Budker at HIM, along with different groups, is presently upgrading the GNOME community, and on completion this also needs to be delicate sufficient to watch such occasions.
Potential ELFs are of explicit significance within the seek for darkish matter. Though we all know this unusual type of matter should exist, no one but is aware of what it’s manufactured from. Specialists are contemplating and researching a complete vary of attainable particles which may theoretically qualify as candidates. Among the many most promising present candidates are extraordinarily mild bosonic particles, which may also be seen when it comes to a traditional subject oscillating at a specific frequency.
“Thus, within the depths of the universe, darkish matter within the type of ELFs could also be created in the course of the merger of two black holes,” concludes Arne Wickenbrock. “Precision quantum sensor networks, in flip, might operate as ELF telescopes, including one other necessary ingredient to the toolbox of multi-messenger astronomy.”
The findings are printed in Nature Astronomy.
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