Gravitational Waves from Peaks
3. June 2019
V. De Luca, V. Desjacques, G. Franciolini, A. Riotto, (2019) [arXiv:1905.13459].
We discuss a novel mechanism to generate gravitational waves in the early universe. A standard way to produce primordial black holes is to enhance at small-scales the overdensity perturbations generated during inflation. The latter, upon horizon re-entry, collapse into black holes. They must be sizeable enough and are therefore associated to rare peaks. There are however less sizeable and much less rare overdensity peaks which do not end up forming primordial black holes and have a non-spherical shape. Upon collapse, they possess a time-dependent non-vanishing mass quadrupole which gives rise to the generation of gravitational waves. By their nature, such gravitational waves are complementary to those sourced at second-order by the very same scalar perturbations responsible for the formation of the primordial black holes. Their amplitude is measurable in future experiments.