Superradiance and the Spins of Black Holes from LIGO and X-ray binaries
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Superradiance and the Spins of Black Holes from LIGO and X-ray binaries


Measurements of the spin of stellar mass black holes (BHs) are now possible both through LIGO observations of binary BH mergers and for BHs in X-ray binary systems. The spins of BHs as inferred from LIGO observations suggest that BH spins are on the lower end of what is expected for a ``flat'' distribution of spins, while those from BHs in X-ray binaries tend to be large. Superradiance, a process that can effectively reduce the spin of BHs before they merge, could explain the lower observed spins in binary BH mergers for a non self-interacting light boson. In this paper, we use Bayesian analysis to infer the posterior probability distribution for the mass of a light boson that could fit LIGO data. We also analyze spins of BHs from X-ray binaries, and find that the X-ray binary data can be explained by superradiance due to a light boson with large self-interactions. We infer the mass range for such a boson that is consistent with the X-ray binary data.

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