[1212.1235] Black Holes are neither Particle Accelerators nor Dark Matter Probes

Authors: Sean T. McWilliams

Date: 6 Dec 2012

Abstract: It has been suggested that maximally spinning black holes can serve as particle accelerators, reaching arbitrarily high center-of-mass energies. Despite several objections regarding the practical achievability of such high energies, and demonstrations past and present that such large energies could never reach a distant observer, interest in this problem has remained substantial. We show that, unfortunately, a maximally spinning black hole can never serve as a probe of high energy collisions, even in principle and despite the correctness of the original diverging energy calculation. Black holes can indeed facilitate dark matter annihilation, but the most energetic photons can carry little more than the rest energy of the dark matter particles to a distant observer, and those photons are actually generated relatively far from the black hole where relativistic effects are negligible. Therefore, any strong gravitational potential could probe dark matter equally well, and an appeal to black holes for facilitating such collisions is unnecessary.

abs pdf

Dec 13, 2012

1212.1235 (/preprints)
2012-12-13, 08:45 [edit]


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Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis