“Black hole collisions could help us measure how fast the universe is expanding”,  UChicago News, by Louise Lerner

August 16, 2022

Illustration credit: Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) Project

In their new paper, Holz and first author Jose María Ezquiaga suggest that they can use our newfound knowledge about the whole population of black holes as a calibration tool. For example, current evidence suggests that most of the detected black holes have between five and 40 times the mass of our sun. “So we measure the masses of the nearby black holes and understand their features, and then we look further away and see how much those further ones appear to have shifted,” said Ezquiaga, a NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow and Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics Fellow working with Holz at UChicago. “And this gives you a measure of the expansion of the universe.”

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