Heidelberg University

Gravitational waves, black holes, dark matter, and the early universe

Marc Kamionkowski, Johns Hopkins University


Following LIGO's discovery last year of a gravitational-wave signal from a pair of merging black holes, it was suggested that such black holes might make up the cosmic dark matter. The idea was supported by a remarkable coincidence between the merger rate implied by LIGO and the rate at which such black holes should merge, if they were to make up the dark matter. In this talk, I will review this proposal, discuss an array of current and future astrophysical tests of the scenario, and the current status. The talk will cover a range of topics of current interest including (in addition to dark matter and gravitational-wave astrophysics) early-Universe cosmology, galactic dynamics, microlensing, and astrophysical transients.