Generic extensions of the standard model predict the existence of ultralight bosonic degrees of freedom. Several ongoing experiments are aimed at detecting these particles or constraining their mass range. Here we show that massive vector fields around rotating black holes can give rise to a strong superradiant instability, which extracts angular momentum from the hole. The observation of supermassive spinning black holes imposes limits on this mechanism. We show that current supermassive black-hole spin estimates provide the tightest upper limits on the mass of the photon (m(v) less than or similar to 4 X 10(-20) eV according to our most conservative estimate), and that spin measurements for the largest known supermassive black holes could further lower this bound to m(v) less than or similar to 10(-22) eV. Our analysis relies on a novel framework to study perturbations of rotating Kerr black holes in the slow-rotation regime, that we developed up to second order in rotation, and that can be extended to other spacetime metrics and other theories.

Black-Hole Bombs and Photon-Mass Bounds

GUALTIERI, Leonardo;
2012

Abstract

Generic extensions of the standard model predict the existence of ultralight bosonic degrees of freedom. Several ongoing experiments are aimed at detecting these particles or constraining their mass range. Here we show that massive vector fields around rotating black holes can give rise to a strong superradiant instability, which extracts angular momentum from the hole. The observation of supermassive spinning black holes imposes limits on this mechanism. We show that current supermassive black-hole spin estimates provide the tightest upper limits on the mass of the photon (m(v) less than or similar to 4 X 10(-20) eV according to our most conservative estimate), and that spin measurements for the largest known supermassive black holes could further lower this bound to m(v) less than or similar to 10(-22) eV. Our analysis relies on a novel framework to study perturbations of rotating Kerr black holes in the slow-rotation regime, that we developed up to second order in rotation, and that can be extended to other spacetime metrics and other theories.
Pani, Paolo; Vitor, Cardoso; Gualtieri, Leonardo; Emanuele, Berti; Akihiro, Ishibashi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1148315
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