1,636 research outputs found

    Relativistic Collapse of Rotating Supermassive Stars to Supermassive Black Holes

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    There is compelling evidence that supermassive black holes (SMBHs) exist. Yet the origin of these objects, or their seeds, is still unknown. We are performing general relativistic simulations of gravitational collapse to black holes in different scenarios to help reveal how SMBH seeds might arise in the universe. SMBHs with ~ 10^9 solar masses must have formed by z > 6, or within 10^9 yrs after the Big Bang, to power quasars. It may be difficult for gas accretion to build up such a SMBH by this time unless the initial seed black hole already has a substantial mass. One plausible progenitor of a massive seed black hole is a supermassive star (SMS). We have followed the collapse of a SMS to a SMBH by means of 3D hydrodynamic simulations in post-Newtonian gravity and axisymmetric simulations in full general relativity. The initial SMS of arbitrary mass M in these simulations rotates uniformly at the mass--shedding limit and is marginally unstable to radial collapse. The final black hole mass and spin are determined to be M_h/M ~ 0.9 and J_h/M_h^2 ~ 0.75. The remaining mass goes into a disk of mass M_{disk}/M ~ 0.1. This disk arises even though the total spin of the progenitor star, J/M^2 = 0.97, is safely below the Kerr limit. The collapse generates a mild burst of gravitational radiation. Nonaxisymmetric bars or one-armed spirals may arise during the quasi-stationary evolution of a SMS, during its collapse, or in the ambient disk about the hole, and are potential sources of quasi-periodic waves, detectable by LISA.Comment: 11 pages, to appear in "The Astrophysics of Gravitational Wave Sources", Proceedings of a Workshop held at the University of Maryland in April 2003, ed. J. Centrella, AIP, in pres

    GRMHD simulations of prompt-collapse neutron star mergers: the absence of jets

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    Inspiraling and merging binary neutron stars are not only important source of gravitational waves, but also promising candidates for coincident electromagnetic counterparts. These systems are thought to be progenitors of short gamma-ray bursts (sGRBs). We have shown previously that binary neutron star mergers that undergo {\it delayed} collapse to a black hole surrounded by a {\it weighty} magnetized accretion disk can drive magnetically-powered jets. We now perform magnetohydrodynamic simulations in full general relativity of binary neutron stars mergers that undergo {\it prompt} collapse to explore the possibility of jet formation from black hole-{\it light} accretion disk remnants. We find that after ttBH26(MNS/1.8M)t-t_{\rm BH}\sim 26(M_{\rm NS}/1.8M_\odot)ms [MNSM_{\rm NS} is the ADM mass] following prompt black hole formation, there is no evidence of mass outflow or magnetic field collimation. The rapid formation of the black hole following merger prevents magnetic energy from approaching force-free values above the magnetic poles, which is required for the launching of a jet by the usual Blandford--Znajek mechanism. Detection of gravitational waves in coincidence with sGRBs may provide constraints on the nuclear equation of state (EOS): the fate of an NSNS merger--delayed or prompt collapse, and hence the appearance or nonappearance of an sGRB--depends on a critical value of the total mass of the binary, and this value is sensitive to the EOS.Comment: 11 pages, 6 figures, matches published versio