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Searching for New Bosons with Light and Gravitational Waves

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 03:00pm - 04:00pm
Location: Room 385, Physics & Astronomy Building

Speaker: Masha Baryakhtar (NYU)

Theories beyond the Standard Model often include new, light, feebly interacting particles whose discovery requires novel search strategies. I will discuss two approaches to search for such particles; first, an experimental proposal based on photonic materials, in which axion or dark photon dark matter can efficiently convert to detectable single photons. A prototype experiment is underway, and current experimental techniques promise to reach significant new dark matter parameter space in the 0.1 ? 10 eV range. Second, I will discuss how the process of superradiance, combined with gravitational wave measurements, turns black holes into nature's laboratories for new ultralight boson searches. When a bosonic particle's Compton wavelength is comparable to the horizon size of a black hole, superradiance converts energy and angular momentum from the black hole into exponentially growing `hydrogenic' bound states of bosons. Axions and dark photons can be constrained from black hole spin measurements, and these systems may source up to thousands of monochromatic gravitational wave signals, enabling LIGO to discover new particles.

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