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Testing the nature of dark compact objects and dark matter with gravitational waves

Apr. 07 - 14:30 - 2022

Speaker: Richard Brito (CENTRA)

Title: Testing the nature of dark compact objects and dark matter with gravitational waves


The direct observation of gravitational waves already allowed us to directly observe hundreds of dark ultracompact objects (most likely black holes) that were entirely invisible to us until very recently. As remarkable as this feat already is, these observations only mark the beginning of what lays ahead. Planned future gravitational-wave detectors promise to make gravitational-wave physics a precision, data-driven science field, which will make it possible to address (and possibly open new) outstanding problems in various areas of physics and astronomy but also potentially opening the door to unexpected discoveries. With this motivation in mind, in this talk I propose to summarise some of my past and current work that aims at tackling questions such as: how well do the black hole solutions predicted by general relativity explain the dark compact objects we observe with gravitational waves? Are there other more exotic compact objects in the Universe? Is dark matter composed of particles, such as axions or dark photons? In particular, I will (i) discuss how the multipolar structure of compact objects can be inferred through gravitational wave observations, focusing on recent work where we computed the corrections to the dynamics of a binary system due to generic, nonaxisymmetric mass quadrupole moments to leading post-Newtonian order and (ii) (time permitting) shortly discuss current and future prospects for gravitational-wave observations to directly constrain the existence of ultralight boson fields, which have been proposed as strong dark matter candidates.

Room: Sala de Reuniões e Seminários (2-8.3) (2nd Floor of Physics Building)

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