2021 Winner: Searching for Primordial Black Holes

Project Information
Searching for Primordial Black Holes
Physical and Biological Sciences
Physics (Astrophysics)
Primordial black holes (PBHs) are blacked holes which formed in the very early universe. I study the possibility of detecting them using pulsars. If a PBH were in orbit around a pulsar, the flashes of light from the pulsar would be periodically affected, allowing us to measure the PBHs' mass and path of orbit. In order to determine what these signatures would look like, I have determined expressions for the capture rate, average lifetimes, and expected number of captured objects in binary systems. These expressions are generalized to all binary systems and can be used in a wide variety of applications.
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  • Olivia Grace Ross (Kresge)