387 research outputs found

    Black hole mergers in the universe

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    Mergers of black-hole binaries are expected to release large amounts of energy in the form of gravitational radiation. However, binary evolution models predict merger rates too low to be of observational interest. In this paper we explore the possibility that black holes become members of close binaries via dynamical interactions with other stars in dense stellar systems. In star clusters, black holes become the most massive objects within a few tens of millions of years; dynamical relaxation then causes them to sink to the cluster core, where they form binaries. These black-hole binaries become more tightly bound by superelastic encounters with other cluster members, and are ultimately ejected from the cluster. The majority of escaping black-hole binaries have orbital periods short enough and eccentricities high enough that the emission of gravitational radiation causes them to coalesce within a few billion years. We predict a black-hole merger rate of about 1.6×10−71.6 \times 10^{-7} per year per cubic megaparsec, implying gravity wave detection rates substantially greater than the corresponding rates from neutron star mergers. For the first generation Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO-I), we expect about one detection during the first two years of operation. For its successor LIGO-II, the rate rises to roughly one detection per day. The uncertainties in these numbers are large. Event rates may drop by about an order of magnitude if the most massive clusters eject their black hole binaries early in their evolution.Comment: 12 pages, ApJL in pres

    Gravitational waves from double white dwarfs

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    Double white dwarfs could be important sources for space based gravitational wave detectors like OMEGA and LISA. We use population synthesis to predict the current population of double white dwarfs in the Galaxy and the gravitational waves produced by this population. We simulate a detailed power spectrum for an observation with an integration time of 10^6 s. At frequencies below ~3 mHz confusion limited noise dominates. At higher frequencies a few thousand double white dwarfs are resolved individually. Including compact binaries containing neutron stars and black holes in our calculations yields a further few hundred resolved binaries and some tens which can be detected above the double white dwarf noise at low frequencies. We find that binaries in which one white dwarf transfers matter to another white dwarf are rare, and thus unimportant for gravitational wave detectors. We discuss the uncertainties and compare our results with other authors.Comment: 6 pages, to appear in the proceedings of the XXXIVth Rencontres de Moriond on "Gravitational Waves and Experimental Gravity", January 23-30, 199

    Fun for Two

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    We performed populations synthesis calculations of single stars and binaries and show that binary evolution is extremely important for Galactic astronomy. We review several binary evolution models and conclude that they give quite different results. These differences can be understood from the assumptions related to how mass is transfered in the binary systems. Most important are 1) the fraction of mass that is accreted by the companion star during mass transfer, 2) the amount of specific angular momentum which is carried away with the mass that leaves the binary system.Comment: 7 pages, 0 figures to appear in the proceeding of the IAU Symposium 200, "The Formation of Binary Stars" eds. H. Zinnecker and R. Mathie

    A triple origin for the lack of tight coplanar circumbinary planets around short-period binaries

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    Transiting circumbinary planets are more easily detected around short-period than long-period binaries, but none have yet been observed by {\it Kepler} orbiting binaries with periods shorter than seven days. In triple systems, secular Kozai-Lidov cycles and tidal friction (KLCTF) have been shown to reduce the inner orbital period from ∌104\sim 10^4 to a few days. Indeed, the majority of short-period binaries are observed to possess a third stellar companion. Using secular evolution analysis and population synthesis, we show that KLCTF makes it unlikely for circumbinary transiting planets to exist around short-period binaries. We find the following outcomes. (1) Sufficiently massive planets in tight and/or coplanar orbits around the inner binary can quench the KL evolution because they induce precession in the inner binary. The KLCTF process does not take place, preventing the formation of a short-period binary. (2) Secular evolution is not quenched and it drives the planetary orbit into a high eccentricity, giving rise to an unstable configuration, in which the planet is most likely ejected from the system. (3) Secular evolution is not quenched but the planet survives the KLCTF evolution. Its orbit is likely to be much wider than the currently observed inner binary orbit, and is likely to be eccentric and inclined with respect to the inner binary. These outcomes lead to two main conclusions: (1) it is unlikely to find a massive planet on a tight and coplanar orbit around a short-period binary, and (2) the properties of circumbinary planets in short-period binaries are constrained by secular evolution.Comment: Revised to match MNRAS publication. 24 pages, 22 figure

    Numerical Study on Stellar Core Collapse and Neutrino Emission: Probe into the Spherically Symmetric Black Hole Progenitors with 3 - 30Msun Iron Cores

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    The existence of various anomalous stars, such as the first stars in the universe or stars produced by stellar mergers, has been recently proposed. Some of these stars will result in black hole formation. In this study, we investigate iron core collapse and black hole formation systematically for the iron-core mass range of 3 - 30Msun, which has not been studied well so far. Models used here are mostly isentropic iron cores that may be produced in merged stars in the present universe but we also employ a model that is meant for a Population III star and is obtained by evolutionary calculation. We solve numerically the general relativistic hydrodynamics and neutrino transfer equations simultaneously, treating neutrino reactions in detail under spherical symmetry. As a result, we find that massive iron cores with ~10Msun unexpectedly produce a bounce owing to the thermal pressure of nucleons before black hole formation. The features of neutrino signals emitted from such massive iron cores differ in time evolution and spectrum from those of ordinary supernovae. Firstly, the neutronization burst is less remarkable or disappears completely for more massive models because the density is lower at the bounce. Secondly, the spectra of neutrinos, except the electron type, are softer owing to the electron-positron pair creation before the bounce. We also study the effects of the initial density profile, finding that the larger the initial density gradient is, the more steeply the neutronization burst declines. Further more, we suggest a way to probe into the black hole progenitors from the neutrino emission and estimate the event number for the currently operating neutrino detectors.Comment: 33 pages, 13 figures, accepted by Ap