Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Podcast: No Sign of Primordial Black Holes

Today on the podcast I talk with Kim Griest, a professor of physics at UC San Diego and professional dark matter hunter.

Griest is exploring the possibility that the mysterious gravitational force acting on all the matter in our universe is caused by black holes that formed in the very early universe. Griest and two of his colleagues recently published the results of a search for these primordial black holes using data from the Kepler space telescope (which was designed to hunt for planets orbiting stars other than our sun). The group did not find primordial black holes, but the new results do set a limit on how big the black holes can be: no larger than about one millionth the mass of the moon. Griests says there is still a chance the black holes could appear in the remaining two years of Kepler data he and his colleagues have yet to analyze.

The Large Underground Xenon (or LUX) dark matter experiment also announced a negative result in its search for a new subatomic particle that could explain dark matter.

These negative results aren't as exciting as, say, finding dark matter—but they are an important part of the quest.

Listen to the podcast to hear more about these ancient black holes and the search for dark matter.

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