Origins and probes of unusually light black holes
In recent years, gravitational wave observatories have detected mergers of compact astrophysical objects with low masses, at best a few times that of the Sun. The identities of these objects remain unclear. If indeed these are black holes, these would be the lightest black holes yet detected. As the search for low mass objects continues, if even lower mass black holes are seen, understanding their origin will pose a fundamental challenge to known physical theories. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, theoretical physicists from TIFR Mumbai and IISc Bangalore argue for an alternate mechanism for black hole formation: neutron stars can transmute to low mass black holes, by accreting dark matter.