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Echoes reverberate

Feb. 10, 2020

Black holes are associated with some of the deepest issues and puzzles in theoretical physics. If quantum effects or any physics change the structure of black holes near their horizon, then new effects appear. In particular, GRIT members predicted that the merger of two such black holes would produce characteristic "echoes" in the post-merger phase, something that detectors like LIGO have access to. Echoes would be a smoking gun for new physics, and claims for their presence in LIGO data exist in the literature. Recently, these works and results were reviewed by Abedi and Afshordi, and covered here by Becky Ferreira for VICE.