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Constraining the mass of dark photons and axion-like particles through black-hole superradiance

Constraining the mass of dark photons and axion-like particles through black-hole superradiance
Constraining the mass of dark photons and axion-like particles through black-hole superradiance
Ultralight bosons and axion-like particles appear naturally in different scenarios and could solve some long-standing puzzles. Their detection is challenging, and all direct methods hinge on unknown couplings to the Standard Model of particle physics. However, the universal coupling to gravity provides model-independent signatures for these fields. We explore here the superradiant instability of spinning black holes triggered in the presence of such fields. The instability taps angular momentum from and limits the maximum spin of astrophysical black holes. We compute, for the first time, the spectrum of the most unstable modes of a massive vector (Proca) field for generic black-hole spin and Proca mass. The observed stability of the inner disk of stellar-mass black holes can be used to derive direct constraints on the mass of dark photons in the mass range 10−13 eV mV 3 × 10−12 eV. By including also higher azimuthal modes, similar constraints apply to axion-like particles in the mass range 6 × 10−13 eV mALP 10−11 eV. Likewise, mass and spin distributions of supermassive BHs – as measured through continuum fitting, Kα iron line, or with the future space-based gravitational-wave detector LISA – imply indirect bounds in the mass range approximately 10−19 eV mV , mALP 10−13 eV, for both axion-like particles and dark photons. Overall, superradiance allows to explore a region of approximately 8 orders of magnitude in the mass of ultralight bosons.
1475-7516
043-043
Cardoso, Vitor
08c1bdef-b56a-4067-ab37-89a9ece74fb7
Hartnett, Gavin S.
09c9c28e-7494-4793-8b1c-237b313c076a
Middleton, Matthew
f91b89d9-fd2e-42ec-aa99-1249f08a52ad
Pani, Paolo
84ac267c-2b9c-43cf-8ce5-88c8d2f5cffd
Santos, Jorge E.
6e5a1703-a14c-4ef6-bfe4-7e4c5177c274
Campos Dias, Oscar
f01a8d9b-9597-4c32-9226-53a6e5500a54
Cardoso, Vitor
08c1bdef-b56a-4067-ab37-89a9ece74fb7
Hartnett, Gavin S.
09c9c28e-7494-4793-8b1c-237b313c076a
Middleton, Matthew
f91b89d9-fd2e-42ec-aa99-1249f08a52ad
Pani, Paolo
84ac267c-2b9c-43cf-8ce5-88c8d2f5cffd
Santos, Jorge E.
6e5a1703-a14c-4ef6-bfe4-7e4c5177c274
Campos Dias, Oscar
f01a8d9b-9597-4c32-9226-53a6e5500a54

Cardoso, Vitor, Hartnett, Gavin S., Middleton, Matthew, Pani, Paolo, Santos, Jorge E. and Campos Dias, Oscar (2018) Constraining the mass of dark photons and axion-like particles through black-hole superradiance. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2018 (03), 043-043, [JCAP03(2018)043]. (doi:10.1088/1475-7516/2018/03/043).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Ultralight bosons and axion-like particles appear naturally in different scenarios and could solve some long-standing puzzles. Their detection is challenging, and all direct methods hinge on unknown couplings to the Standard Model of particle physics. However, the universal coupling to gravity provides model-independent signatures for these fields. We explore here the superradiant instability of spinning black holes triggered in the presence of such fields. The instability taps angular momentum from and limits the maximum spin of astrophysical black holes. We compute, for the first time, the spectrum of the most unstable modes of a massive vector (Proca) field for generic black-hole spin and Proca mass. The observed stability of the inner disk of stellar-mass black holes can be used to derive direct constraints on the mass of dark photons in the mass range 10−13 eV mV 3 × 10−12 eV. By including also higher azimuthal modes, similar constraints apply to axion-like particles in the mass range 6 × 10−13 eV mALP 10−11 eV. Likewise, mass and spin distributions of supermassive BHs – as measured through continuum fitting, Kα iron line, or with the future space-based gravitational-wave detector LISA – imply indirect bounds in the mass range approximately 10−19 eV mV , mALP 10−13 eV, for both axion-like particles and dark photons. Overall, superradiance allows to explore a region of approximately 8 orders of magnitude in the mass of ultralight bosons.

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Accepted/In Press date: 15 March 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 March 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420001
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420001
ISSN: 1475-7516
PURE UUID: efe4aa35-53b4-4308-b7f9-b2dc07af7aad
ORCID for Oscar Campos Dias: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4855-4750

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Date deposited: 25 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 05:29

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