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Astrophysics > High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena

Title: Can black hole superradiance be induced by galactic plasmas?

Abstract: Highly spinning Kerr black holes with masses $M = 1 - 100\ M_{\odot}$ are subject to an efficient superradiant instability in the presence of bosons with masses $\mu \sim 10^{-10} - 10^{-12}\ {\rm eV}$. We observe that this matches the effective plasma-induced photon mass in diffuse galactic or intracluster environments ($\omega_{\rm pl} \sim 10^{-10} - 10^{-12}\ {\rm eV}$). This suggests that bare Kerr black holes within galactic or intracluster environments, possibly even including the ones produced in recently observed gravitational wave events, are unstable to formation of a photon cloud that may contain a significant fraction of the mass of the original black hole. At maximal efficiency, the instability timescale for a massive vector is milliseconds, potentially leading to a transient rate of energy extraction from a black hole in principle as large as $\sim 10^{55} \ {\rm erg \, s}^{-1}$. We discuss possible astrophysical effects this could give rise to, including a speculative connection to Fast Radio Bursts.
Comments: 5 pages; v2. accepted version
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)
DOI: 10.1016/j.physletb.2018.02.073
Cite as: arXiv:1701.02034 [astro-ph.HE]
  (or arXiv:1701.02034v2 [astro-ph.HE] for this version)

Submission history

From: Joseph Conlon [view email]
[v1] Sun, 8 Jan 2017 22:55:18 GMT (15kb)
[v2] Mon, 19 Mar 2018 10:00:04 GMT (16kb)