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Archive for the ‘cosmology’ category: Page 7

Jul 14, 2021

Tachyonic inflation in loop quantum cosmology

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, quantum physics

A tachyon field might be responsible for cosmological inflation at an early time and contribute to cosmological dark matter at a later time. We investigate tachyonic inflation by analyzing a tachyon field with different potentials in the framework of loop quantum cosmology. No matter which tachyon field energy dominates at the bounce, the evolution of the background can be divided into three phases: super-inflation, damping, and slow-roll inflation. The duration of each phase depends on the initial condition. During the slow-roll inflation, when the initial condition is $$V(T_\mathrm{B})/\rho _\mathrm{c}\ge 10^{-6}$$ V(TB)/ρc≥10–6, the number of e-folds is very high ($$N\gg 60$$ N≫60) for $$V\propto T^{-n}$$ V∝T-n with $$n=1$$ n=1 and 1 / 2. For an exponential potential, to get enough e-folds, $$V(T_\mathrm{B})/\rho _\mathrm{c}$$ V(TB)/ρc should be greater than $$7.802\times 10^{-4}$$7.

Jul 14, 2021

Optical singularities could be used for a wide range of applications from super resolution imaging to optical trapping

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics, robotics/AI, singularity

When we think about singularities, we tend to think of massive black holes in faraway galaxies or a distant future with runaway AI, but singularities are all around us. Singularities are simply a place where certain parameters are undefined. The North and South Pole, for example, are what’s known as coordinate singularities because they don’t have a defined longitude.

Optical singularities typically occur when the phase of with a specific wavelength, or color, is undefined. These regions appear completely dark. Today, some optical singularities, including optical vortices, are being explored for use in optical communications and particle manipulation but scientists are just beginning to understand the potential of these systems. The question remains—can we harness darkness like we harnessed light to build powerful, new technologies?

Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new way to control and optical singularities. The technique can be used to engineer singularities of many shapes, far beyond simple curved or straight lines. To demonstrate their technique, the researchers created a singularity sheet in the shape of a heart.

Jul 14, 2021

Harnessing the Dark Side: Optical Singularities Could Be Used for a Wide Range of Applications

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics, robotics/AI, singularity

“You can also engineer dead zones in radio waves or silent zones in acoustic waves,” said Lim. “This research points to the possibility of designing complex topologies in wave physics beyond optics, from electron beams to acoustics.”


When we think about singularities, we tend to think of massive black holes in faraway galaxies or a distant future with runaway AI, but singularities are all around us. Singularities are simply a place where certain parameters are undefined. The North and South Pole, for example, are what’s known as coordinate singularities because they don’t have a defined longitude.

Optical singularities typically occur when the phase of light with a specific wavelength, or color, is undefined. These regions appear completely dark. Today, some optical singularities, including optical vortices, are being explored for use in optical communications and particle manipulation but scientists are just beginning to understand the potential of these systems. The question remains — can we harness darkness like we harnessed light to build powerful, new technologies?

Continue reading “Harnessing the Dark Side: Optical Singularities Could Be Used for a Wide Range of Applications” »

Jul 13, 2021

South African telescope captures stunning image of radio galaxy

Posted by in category: cosmology

A stunning new image from the South African MeerKAT telescope captures powerful radio emissions woven through space.

The radio emissions emanate from an enormous rotating black hole that lies at the center of an elliptical galaxy known as IC 4296. Energy released by matter falling into the black hole generates two radio jets of high energy gas on opposite sides of the galaxy — creating what is also known as a double-lobed radio galaxy.

Jul 12, 2021

Rare ‘hypernova’ explosion detected on fringes of the Milky Way for the first time

Posted by in category: cosmology

The catastrophic blast was 10 times stronger and brighter than a typical supernova.


The blast was 10 times stronger and brighter than a typical supernova, and we can still see its impact today.

Jul 11, 2021

“Primordial black holes” could confirm a theory about the origins of the universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

The size of a tennis ball. The mass of the Earth.


But that could change soon.

Current gravitational wave observatories are sensitive to the mergers of stellar-mass black holes. We’ve observed a few mergers involving neutron stars, but most have been between black holes on the order of tens of solar masses.

Continue reading “‘Primordial black holes’ could confirm a theory about the origins of the universe” »

Jul 11, 2021

Islands behind the horizon

Posted by in categories: cosmology, mathematics, neuroscience

Math about black holes:


If you’ve been following the arXiv, or keeping abreast of developments in high-energy theory more broadly, you may have noticed that the longstanding black hole information paradox seems to have entered a new phase, instigated by a pair of papers [1, 2] that appeared simultaneously in the summer of 2019. Over 200 subsequent papers have since appeared on the subject of “islands”—subleading saddles in the gravitational path integral that enable one to compute the Page curve, the signature of unitary black hole evaporation. Due to my skepticism towards certain aspects of these constructions (which I’ll come to below), my brain has largely rebelled against boarding this particular hype train. However, I was recently asked to explain them at the HET group seminar here at Nordita, which provided the opportunity (read: forced me) to prepare a general overview of what it’s all about. Given the wide interest and positive response to the talk, I’ve converted it into the present post to make it publicly available.

Continue reading “Islands behind the horizon” »

Jul 11, 2021

Instability in Black Hole Vibrational Spectra

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

A new analysis of black hole vibrational spectra identifies which frequencies are stable to perturbations—information pertinent for gravitational-wave analysis and quantum gravity modeling.

Are black holes stable when they are slightly perturbed? This question was answered 50 years ago by the physicist C. V. Vishveshwara with a numerical experiment: Vishveshwara imagined sending a wave packet toward a black hole and observing what came out [1]. He found that the scattered wave is a sum of damped sinusoids, whose frequencies and damping times are the free-vibration modes, or so-called quasinormal modes, of the black hole. The damping implies that black holes are stable—they settle back into a stationary state after being perturbed.

Jul 11, 2021

If the multiverse exists, are there infinite copies of me?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

Circa 2020


According to the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, the universe is constantly dividing and taking you with it – so would you recognise your other selves if you met them?

Continue reading “If the multiverse exists, are there infinite copies of me?” »

Jul 10, 2021

The Final Dance of Mixed Neutron Star-Black Hole Pairs: A New Type of Cataclysmic Event in the Cosmos

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Another missing piece has just been added to our knowledge of cosmic phenomena. The LIGO, Virgo and KAGRA collaborations have announced the first detection of gravitational waves[1] resulting from the ‘mixed’ merger between a black hole and a neutron star.[2] The discovery, published on June 29, 2021 in Astrophysical Journal Letters, involves CNRS researchers working within the Virgo scientific collaboration.

Although it has only been only a few years since the very first observation of gravitational waves, the technique has yielded an extensive repertoire of phenomena involving massive cosmic objects. The LIGO and Virgo detectors have already observed mergers of pairs (or binaries) of black holes and, less frequently, of neutron stars. However, gravitational waves detected in January 2020 provide evidence of the existence of a new type of system. The signals, named GW200105 and GW200115 from their dates of detection, were produced by a process that had been predicted but never observed until now: the coalescence of ‘mixed pairs’ called NSBH pairs, each made up of a neutron star and a black hole.[3]

Gravitational waves contain valuable information about their source, such as the mass of the components making up the binary. Analysis of the signals revealed that GW200105 resulted from the merger, some 900 million years ago, of a black hole and a neutron star, respectively 8.9 times and 1.9 times more massive than the Sun, while GW200115 originated from an NSBH pair which coalesced around 1 billion years ago, with masses 5.7 and 1.5 times greater than the Sun. The difference in mass between the components of the system indicates that they are indeed mixed binaries: the mass of the heavier object corresponds to that of a black hole while the mass of the lighter object is consistent with that of a neutron star. The difference between the two masses could also explain why no light signals were detected by telescopes. When a neutron star approaches a black hole it can theoretically be torn apart by tidal forces, causing flares of electromagnetic radiation. However, in the two cases observed, the black hole, being much more massive, could have gobbled up the neutron star in a single mouthful, leaving no trace.

Continue reading “The Final Dance of Mixed Neutron Star-Black Hole Pairs: A New Type of Cataclysmic Event in the Cosmos” »

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