We point out that the gravitational-wave event GW150914 observed by the LIGO detectors can be explained by the coalescence of primordial black holes (PBHs). It is found that the expected PBH merger rate would exceed the rate estimated by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration if PBHs were the dominant component of dark matter, while it can be made compatible if PBHs constitute a fraction of dark matter. Intriguingly, the abundance of PBHs required to explain the suggested lower bound on the event rate, >2 events Gpc-3 yr-1 , roughly coincides with the existing upper limit set by the nondetection of the cosmic microwave background spectral distortion. This implies that the proposed PBH scenario may be tested in the not-too-distant future.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- August 2016
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- Fig.1 is corrected. Main conclusion remains unchanged