Limits on stellar-mass compact objects as dark matter from gravitational lensing of type Ia supernovae

23 Aug 2018  ·  Zumalacarregui Miguel, Seljak Uros ·

The nature of dark matter (DM) remains unknown despite very precise knowledge of its abundance in the universe. An alternative to new elementary particles postulates DM as made of macroscopic compact halo objects (MACHO) such as black holes formed in the very early universe... Stellar-mass primordial black holes (PBHs) are subject to less robust constraints than other mass ranges and might be connected to gravitational-wave signals detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). New methods are therefore necessary to constrain the viability of compact objects as a DM candidate. Here we report bounds on the abundance of compact objects from gravitational lensing of type Ia supernovae (SNe). Current SNe datasets constrain compact objects to represent less than 35.2% (Joint Lightcurve Analisis) and 37.2% (Union 2.1) of the total matter content in the universe, at 95% confidence-level. The results are valid for masses larger than $\sim 0.01M_\odot$ (solar-masses), limited by the size SNe relative to the lens Einstein radius. We demonstrate the mass range of the constraints by computing magnification probabilities for realistic SNe sizes and different values of the PBH mass. Our bounds are sensitive to the total abundance of compact objects with $M \lesssim 0.01M_\odot$ and complementary to other observational tests. These results are robust against cosmological parameters, outlier rejection, correlated noise and selection bias. PBHs and other MACHOs are therefore ruled out as the dominant form of DM for objects associated to LIGO gravitational wave detections. These bounds constrain early-universe models that predict stellar-mass PBH production and strengthen the case for lighter forms of DM, including new elementary particles. read more

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Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology High Energy Physics - Phenomenology High Energy Physics - Theory