are the LIGO black holes in fact dark-matter particles?

[This is blog post 2600. You have to be a real nerd to know why I care.]

I gave the annual Robbins Lecture in the Department of Physics at Rutgers University. I spoke about noise modeling and the discoveries of transiting exoplanets. Before my talk, I had many interesting discussions around the department, including extensive discussion of my favorite black-hole dark-matter model: tens- to hundreds-of-Solar-mass black holes. This model is not ruled out by anything, and it is possible to calculate exactly. Now, interesting question: What if the black holes discovered by LIGO are in fact dark-matter particles? Matthew Buckley (Rutgers) and I discussed this idea in some detail: Is the implied event rate consistent with three-body and many-body capture processes? Would the stochastic background be too loud? Etc.


  1. Dear David: are you suggesting that DM could consist of a myriad of 10-100 solar masses black holes? Did you do any math? I mean did you check whether such hypothesis matches the number of possible candidates which you could obtain from a typical IMF?
    I am curious.

    1. In this scenario, the BHs would have to be primordial.

    2. btw. Do you know about cosmological black holes? they have been invoked to justify the formation of voids.... I believe it is a series of papers by Stornaiolo and collaborators....

  2. Would they be ruled out due to lack of observed lensing distortion in radio-source jets? (Lacey and Ostriker come to mind.)

  3. 2600: The Hacker Quarterly? Atari 2600?