Quantum Black Holes in the Sky?
The presence of a mass term for the scalar field allows for dramatic increases in the radiated gravitational wave signal and may stretch out the signal to last for years or even centuries. There are several potential smoking gun signatures of a departure from general relativity associated with this process. These signatures could show up within existing LIGO-Virgo searches.
I will give a brief overview of LIGO’s efforts to test general relativity with gravitational waves. My main focus will be on tests of alternative polarizations.
We show how the model of pseudo-complex general relativity can be tested using gravitational wave signals from coalescing compact objects. The Model, which agrees with Einstein gravity in the weak-field limit, diverges dramatically in the near-horizon regime, with certain parameter ranges excluding the existence of black holes. We show that simple limits can be placed on the model in both the inspiral and ringdown phase of coalescing compact objects.
We discuss further how these limits relate to current observational bounds.
The binary black hole merger events recently discovered by the LIGO and Virgo Collaboration offer us excellent testbeds for exploring extreme (strong and dynamical-field) gravity that was previously inaccessible. In this talk, I will first explain the current status of probing fundamental pillars of General Relativity using the inspiral part of the gravitational waveform. I will next describe how well one can constrain one type of quantum black holes, collapsed polymers, with the GW150914 ringdown. I will conclude with a list of important open problems.
The noise dominated nature of the gravitational wave detectors requires an assessment of the noise background in the search for astrophysical signals. Starting with a frequentist approach, the original analysis used about 16 seconds of data after the merger signal to find how frequently random noise mimics the expected signal. We present the results of extending the background estimation to 4096 seconds of public LIGO data and discuss the concerns arising from subtleties in the analysis for the long and self-similar echo templates.