(Nanowerk News) What is the origin of black holes and how does this question relate to another mystery, the nature of dark matter? Dark matter comprises the majority of matter in the Universe, but its nature remains unknown.
Several detections of gravitational waves from molten black holes have been identified in recent years by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), commemorated by the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics to Kip Thorne, Barry Barish and Rainer Weiss. A definitive confirmation of the existence of black holes has been celebrated with the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Andrea Ghez, Reinhard Genzel and Roger Penrose. Understanding the origin of black holes thus appeared to be a central issue in physics.
Surprisingly, LIGO recently observed a 2.6 solar mass black hole candidate (event GW190814, reported in Astrophysical Journal Letters “GW190814: Gravitational waves of the coalescence of a black hole of 23 solar masses with a compact object of solar mass 2.6”). Assuming it’s a black hole and not an unusually massive neutron star, where does it come from?
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