Now reading: Researchers suggest “mind-blowing” new approach to finding dark matter

Take a self-guided tour from quantum to cosmos!

Researchers suggest “mind-blowing” new approach to finding dark matter

New research from Perimeter suggests using black holes and gravitational waves to solve the mystery of dark matter.

Scientific image of a black hole in the sky surrounded by a ring of light

Can we use black holes to discover new particles that might help explain dark matter? A team of researchers at Perimeter Institute think so.

“The basic idea is that we’re trying to use black holes… the densest, most compact objects in the universe, to search for new kinds of particles,” Masha Baryakhtar, postdoctoral researcher at Perimeter, told Gizmodo‘s Ryan Mandelbaum.

The research, originally published in Physical Review D, argues that if axions — hypothetical particles theorized as possible components of dark matter — are real, black holes might be the key to finding them. The process of superradiance, which supercharges the space around black holes to generate huge numbers of axions, could actually create ripples in spacetime like those detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015.

At a particular frequency, we should be able to “hear a gravitational wave hum from these axions moving around,” Mandelbaum writes.

Read the whole article on Gizmodo.


On July 27, Juan Maldacena, a luminary in the worlds of string theory and quantum gravity, will share his insights on black holes, wormholes, and quantum entanglement.

/Jul 12, 2023

Dark Matter Night will feature live talks on October 26 at both Perimeter Institute and the McDonald Institute, webcast free online.

/Oct 07, 2022

Clouds of particles surrounding some black holes could create smaller versions of cosmic strings and provide insights into dark matter, according to research by Perimeter’s William East.

/Oct 06, 2022