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High Energy Physics Seminar

Thursday, October 19, 2023
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Online and In-Person Event
Supermassive primordial black holes from inflation
Aurora Ireland, University of Chicago,

Special date and time

Much remains to be understood about the origin and evolution of our universe's largest supermassive black holes (SMBHs). In this talk, I motivate the possibility that some fraction of these SMBHs may be primordial in origin, having formed from the direct collapse of density perturbations seeded by inflation. Such a scenario is naively in conflict with constraints from CMB spectral distortions but can be made viable for a distribution of curvature perturbations which is sufficiently non-Gaussian. I present a concrete model of multi-field inflation capable of yielding such dramatic non-Gaussianities and calculate the maximal abundance of SMBHs, finding it to be consistent with the population observed at high-redshift. This result has a number of interesting implications and is especially timely in light of recent evidence from the NANOGrav collaboration and other pulsar timing arrays for a stochastic gravitational wave background consistent with SMBH mergers.

Talk is in 469 Lauritsen.
Contact [email protected] for Zoom link.