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Evidence for deviations from canonical black holes from LIGO?
In a new preprint, Jahed Abedi, Hannah Dykaar, and Niayesh Afshordi adduce tantalizing evidence for departures from a standard general relativity model of black hole merger dynamics (motivated by the "firewall" and "fuzzball" pictures) in the recent LIGO detection of three events. From their abstract:
It was recently pointed out [that] near-horizon structures can lead to late-time echoes in the black hole merger gravitational wave signals that are otherwise indistinguishable from GR. We search for observational signatures of these echoes in the gravitational wave data released by advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), following the three black hole merger events GW150914, GW151226, and LVT151012.... we find tentative evidence for Planck-scale structure near black hole horizons at 2.9σ significance level (corresponding to false detection probability of 1 in 270). Future data releases from LIGO collaboration, along with more physical echo templates, will definitively confirm (or rule out) this finding, providing possible empirical evidence for alternatives to classical black holes, such as in firewall or fuzzball paradigms.
In the 2017, will a paper be published by a collaboration including at least one of these authors that presents > 5 evidence for deviations from standard GR based on LIGO observations?
Positive resolution does not require confirmation by another group (though that would be interesting of course), just a claim of "detection level" confidence from the existing collaboration, presumably via applying their current methods to new data made available by LIGO.
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