PIRSA:17110070

Echoes from the Abyss: Tentative Evidence for Planck-Scale Structure at Black Hole Horizons

APA

Abedi, J. (2017). Echoes from the Abyss: Tentative Evidence for Planck-Scale Structure at Black Hole Horizons. Perimeter Institute. https://pirsa.org/17110070

MLA

Abedi, Jahed. Echoes from the Abyss: Tentative Evidence for Planck-Scale Structure at Black Hole Horizons. Perimeter Institute, Nov. 08, 2017, https://pirsa.org/17110070

BibTex

          @misc{ pirsa_17110070,
            doi = {},
            url = {https://pirsa.org/17110070},
            author = {Abedi, Jahed},
            keywords = {Quantum Gravity},
            language = {en},
            title = {Echoes from the Abyss: Tentative Evidence for Planck-Scale Structure at Black Hole Horizons},
            publisher = {Perimeter Institute},
            year = {2017},
            month = {nov},
            note = {PIRSA:17110070 see, \url{https://pirsa.org}}
          }
          

Abstract

In classical General Relativity (GR), an observer falling into an astrophysical black hole is not expected to experience anything dramatic as she crosses the event horizon. However, tentative resolutions to problems in quantum gravity, such as the cosmological constant problem, or the black hole information paradox, invoke significant departures from classicality in the vicinity of the horizon. It was recently pointed out that such near-horizon structures can lead to late-time echoes in the black hole merger gravitational wave signals that are otherwise indistinguishable from GR. We search for observational signatures of these echoes in the gravitational wave data released by advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), following the three black hole merger events GW150914, GW151226, and LVT151012. In particular, we look for repeating damped echoes with time-delays of 8MlogM (+spin corrections, in Planck units), corresponding to Planck-scale departures from GR near their respective horizons. Accounting for the "look elsewhere" effect due to uncertainty in the echo template, we find tentative evidence for Planck-scale structure near black hole horizons at false detection probability of 1% (corresponding to 2.5σ significance level). We also report the results of same search for echoes in the new black hole merger event GW170104. Future observations from interferometric detectors at higher sensitivity, along with more physical echo templates, will be able to confirm (or rule out) this finding, providing possible empirical evidence for alternatives to classical black holes, such as in firewall or fuzzball paradigms.