Simulations of PBH formation at the QCD epoch and comparison with the GWTC-3 catalog

Albert Escrivà, Eleni Bagui, Sebastien Clesse

Submitted on 13 September 2022


The probability of primordial black hole (PBH) formation is known to be boosted during the Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) crossover due to a slight reduction of the equation of state. This induces a high peak and other features in the PBH mass distribution. But the impact of this variation during the PBH formation has been so far neglected. In this work we simulate for the first time the formation of PBHs by taking into account the varying equation of state at the QCD epoch, compute the over-density threshold using different curvature profiles and find that the resulting PBH mass distributions are significantly impacted. The expected merger rate distributions of early and late PBH binaries is comparable to the ones inferred from the GWTC-3 catalog for dark matter fractions in PBHs within 0.1<fPBH<1. The distribution of gravitational-wave events estimated from the volume sensitivity could explain mergers around 3050M, with asymmetric masses like GW190814, or in the pair-instability mass gap like GW190521. However, none of the considered cases leads to a multi-modal distribution with a secondary peak around 815M, as suggested by the GWTC-3 catalog, possibly pointing to a mixed population of astrophysical and primordial black holes.


Comment: 41 pages, 18 figures, comments welcome

Subjects: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics; General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology; High Energy Physics - Theory