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Title: Searching for ultra-light bosons and constraining black hole spin distributions with stellar tidal disruption events
Abstract Stars that pass close to the supermassive black holes located in the center of galaxies can be disrupted by tidal forces, leading to flares that are observed as bright transient events in sky surveys. The rate for these events to occur depends on the black hole spins, which in turn can be affected by ultra-light bosons due to superradiance. We perform a detailed analysis of these effects and show that searches for stellar tidal disruptions have the potential to uncover the existence of ultra-light bosons. In particular, we find that upcoming stellar tidal disruption rate measurements by the Vera Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time can be used to either discover or rule out bosons with masses ranging from 10 −20 to 10 −18  eV. Our analysis also indicates that these measurements may be used to constrain a variety of supermassive black hole spin distributions and determine if close-to maximal spins are preferred.  more » « less
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Nature Communications
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National Science Foundation
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