Mergers of black holes are considered as catastrophic astrophysical events. They are able to release energy in huge volumes. Weak signals that tell of impending phenomena may lie in exotic low-mass fields that propagate these signals in space. They can be detected using quantum sensor networks, including GPS atomic clocks or GNOME magnetometers. Such theoretical calculations are made by the researchers from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and the Helmholtz Institute in Mainz.
The experts believe they may play a role in the search for dark matter. If only because low-mass fields can become candidates for that exotic form of matter. Since the first gravitational waves were detected with the LIGO interferometer few years ago, interest in that area has increased significantly.
Dr. Arne Wickenbork believes that at the moment when gravitational waves are formed, it happens far in space, but on the Earth you can fix their signals in the form of electromagnetic radiation. The scientists wondered what would happen if some of that energy was emitted in the form of exotic low-mass fields or ELF.
Can they be detected using existing quantum sensor networks? Preliminary calculations show that in this case, the signal will be similar to the sound of a siren, moving from high frequencies to low frequencies.
The equipment that can record these frequencies is the worldwide GPS atomic clock network and the GNOME network, which consists of many magnetometers, and they, in turn, are located all over the world.
The scientists believe that it is necessary to increase the sensitivity of these devices so that they can reliably capture signals. They can contain light bosonic particles that can be viewed in terms of a classical field vibrating at a certain frequency. And if the process of merging of two black holes is planned in the depths of the Universe, quantum sensor networks will be able to record that event.