Event Title

Session 3C: Searching for Primordial Black Holes and Other Exotic Dense Objects

Session Number

Session 3C: 2nd Presentation

Advisor(s)

Dr. James Annis, Fermilab

Location

Academic Pit

Start Date

26-4-2018 12:40 PM

End Date

26-4-2018 1:25 PM

Abstract

The idea that Primordial Black Holes (PBHs) constitute the majority of dark matter has been revived by LIGO’s detection of 30 solar mass merging black holes. We can search for PBHs via microlensing, a phenomena which occurs when a PBH passes in front of a star, forming an Einstein ring and increasing the apparent brightness of the star. We are participating in a Dark Energy Survey (DES) project to detect microlensing in DES data. This project uses DES cadences and data to generate mock microlensing curves for PBHs. PBHs of 10-100 solar masses have microlensing events of time duration t ~ 2.5 years and can be observed in DES. First, we created a clean sample of stars by removing galaxies. We then generated roughly 50,000 light curves per sampled star by using known parameters of stars in the DES and varying unknown parameters of PBHs through microlensing equations. These mock light curves were sent to another team for an analysis of the collaboration’s detection efficiency of microlensing events. Calculating the detection efficiency is crucial to predict how many microlensing events we can expect to find in DES. If our observed number of microlensing events is far less than the expected number of microlensing events, we can rule out PBHs as dark matter.

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Apr 26th, 12:40 PM Apr 26th, 1:25 PM

Session 3C: Searching for Primordial Black Holes and Other Exotic Dense Objects

Academic Pit

The idea that Primordial Black Holes (PBHs) constitute the majority of dark matter has been revived by LIGO’s detection of 30 solar mass merging black holes. We can search for PBHs via microlensing, a phenomena which occurs when a PBH passes in front of a star, forming an Einstein ring and increasing the apparent brightness of the star. We are participating in a Dark Energy Survey (DES) project to detect microlensing in DES data. This project uses DES cadences and data to generate mock microlensing curves for PBHs. PBHs of 10-100 solar masses have microlensing events of time duration t ~ 2.5 years and can be observed in DES. First, we created a clean sample of stars by removing galaxies. We then generated roughly 50,000 light curves per sampled star by using known parameters of stars in the DES and varying unknown parameters of PBHs through microlensing equations. These mock light curves were sent to another team for an analysis of the collaboration’s detection efficiency of microlensing events. Calculating the detection efficiency is crucial to predict how many microlensing events we can expect to find in DES. If our observed number of microlensing events is far less than the expected number of microlensing events, we can rule out PBHs as dark matter.