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Axions in cloudy weather

Mar. 07, 2019

Former GRIT members Emanuele Berti and Richard Brito, together with colleagues from Hong Kong, have just published a Nature Astronomy paper on the possibility of using gravitational-wave observations to detect or inform us on the existence of very light bosonic fields. GRIT pioneered the studies on black hole superradiance and their usefulness in particle physics, and summarized the state-of-the-art on a Springer Monograph on the issue. If ultralight bosoni fields exist, they are able to extract rotational energy from astrophysical black holes and form condensates around them, as in the cartoon below. Vitor Cardoso was interviewed by Physics World to discuss the positive and negative aspects of the latest study.