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A sensitive search for radio pulses from primordial black holes and distant Supernovae

Naturevolume 277pages117118 (1979) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THERE are two mechanisms of current theoretical interest which might generate short ( <1 ms) radio pulses detectable at interstellar or even cosmological distances. In both cases the pulse is generated by the alteration of a magnetic field by an expanding conducting shell. The phenomenon might occur either as the expanding core of a supernova ‘combs’ the star's intrinsic dipole field1,2, or as the shell of charged particles emitted in the explosion of a primordial black hole (PBH) excludes the surrounding magnetic field3. In the latter case, the resulting radio pulse would, with suitable particle physics3,4, be much easier to detect than the γ-ray pulses that might also accompany the explosion5. The best published upper limit on the frequency of such γ-ray pulses is 4 × 10−2 events pc−3 yr−1 (ref. 6). We present here the results of a radio frequency search for isolated pulses, with much higher sensitivity than achieved previously. No definitive pulses have been detected, and the implied limit on PBH explosions is 2×10−9 events pc−3 yr−1.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, 01003

    • STERL PHINNEY
    •  & J. H. TAYLOR

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https://doi.org/10.1038/277117a0

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