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This content will become publicly available on April 10, 2019

Title: Search for Gamma-Ray Emission from Local Primordial Black Holes with the Fermi Large Area Telescope

Black holes with masses below approximately 10 15 g are expected to emit gamma-rays with energies above a few tens of MeV, which can be detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). Although black holes with these masses cannot be formed as a result of stellar evolution, they may have formed in the early universe and are therefore called primordial black holes (PBHs). Previous searches for PBHs have focused on either short-timescale bursts or the contribution of PBHs to the isotropic gamma-ray emission. We show that, in cases of individual PBHs, the Fermi-LAT is most sensitive to PBHs with temperatures above approximately 16 GeV and masses 6 × 10 11 g, which it can detect out to a distance of about 0.03 pc. These PBHs have a remaining lifetime of months to years at the start of the Fermi mission. They would appear as potentially moving point sources with gamma-ray emission that become spectrally harder and brighter with time until the PBH completely evaporates. In this paper, we develop a new algorithm to detect the proper motion of gamma-ray point sources, and apply it to 318 unassociated point sources at a high galactic latitude in the third Fermi-LAT source catalog. None of the unassociated point sources with spectra consistent with PBH evaporation show significant proper motion. Finally, using the nondetection of PBH candidates, we derive a 99% confidence limit on the PBH evaporation rate in the vicinity of Earth, $${\dot{\rho }}_{\mathrm{PBH}}\lt 7.2\times {10}^{3}\ {\mathrm{pc}}^{-3}\,{\mathrm{yr}}^{-1}$$. This limit is similar to the limits obtained with ground-based gamma-ray observatories.
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Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 857; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Contributing Orgs:
Fermi-LAT Collaboration
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; astroparticle physics; black hole physics; methods: data analysis
OSTI Identifier:
1434919