Back in February, researchers at LIGO made the historic discovery of gravitational waves, predicted a century earlier. The waves were generated by a pair of black holes in their final in-spiral before an inevitable collision and merger.
Now, a group of researchers is investigating the possibility that the discovery may have been even more historic than we thought. Last week, Physical Review Letters published a paper titled “Did LIGO detect Dark Matter?” It explores the possibility that dark matter could really be black holes, such as the pair seen by LIGO, provided enough are distributed throughout the halos of galaxies. If so, in addition to finally observing the long-sought gravitational waves, we may have simultaneously discovered dark matter.
But we shouldn’t break out the champagne just yet. Black holes aren’t among the leading candidates for dark matter, and there are good reasons for that.