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Observing Superradiance of Light Vector Particles

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We will discuss how the process of superradiance, combined with
gravitational wave measurements, makes black holes into
nature's laboratories to search for new light bosons. We will present
analytic results for superradiance of light vector (spin-1) particles,
valid in the regime where the vector's Compton wavelength is much
larger than the horizon size of a black hole. If superradiance is
efficient, the occupation number of the vectors in the black hole's
vicinity grows exponentially and the black hole spins down. We will
present preliminary signatures of this process, including black hole
spin measurements and gravitational wave signals. Current measurements
of black hole spins disfavor a range of masses of (gravitationally
coupled) vectors. Vectors annihilating to gravitons would emit
strong monochromatic gravitational wave signals, which may be
visible in future LIGO observations.