Decoding the final state in binary black hole mergers
Healy, James; Shoemaker, Deirdre
2014-01-01
We demonstrate that in binary black hole mergers there is a direct correlation between the frequency of the gravitational wave at peak amplitude and the mass and spin of the final black hole. This correlation could potentially assist with the analysis of gravitational wave observations from binary black hole mergers.
Toroidal Horizons in Binary Black Hole Mergers
Bohn, Andy; Kidder, Lawrence E.; Teukolsky, Saul A.
2016-01-01
We find the first binary black hole event horizon with a toroidal topology. It had been predicted that generically the event horizons of merging black holes should briefly have a toroidal topology, but such a phase has never been seen prior to this work. In all previous binary black hole simulations, in the coordinate slicing used to evolve the black holes, the topology of the event horizon transitions directly from two spheres during the inspiral to a single sphere as the black holes merge. ...
Toroidal Horizons in Binary Black Hole Mergers
Bohn, Andy; Teukolsky, Saul A
2016-01-01
We find the first binary black hole event horizon with a toroidal topology. It had been predicted that generically the event horizons of merging black holes should briefly have a toroidal topology, but such a phase has never been seen prior to this work. In all previous binary black hole simulations, in the coordinate slicing used to evolve the black holes, the topology of the event horizon transitions directly from two spheres during the inspiral to a single sphere as the black holes merge. We present a coordinate transformation to a foliation of spacelike hypersurfaces that "cut a hole" through the event horizon surface, resulting in a toroidal event horizon. A torus could potentially provide a mechanism for violating topological censorship. However, these toroidal event horizons satisfy topological censorship by construction, because we can always trivially apply the inverse coordinate transformation to remove the topological feature.
Growth of supermassive black holes, galaxy mergers and supermassive binary black holes
Komossa, S.; Baker, J G; Liu, F. K.
2016-01-01
The study of galaxy mergers and supermassive binary black holes (SMBBHs) is central to our understanding of the galaxy and black hole assembly and (co-)evolution at the epoch of structure formation and throughout cosmic history. Galaxy mergers are the sites of major accretion episodes, they power quasars, grow supermassive black holes (SMBHs), and drive SMBH-host scaling relations. The coalescing SMBBHs at their centers are the loudest sources of gravitational waves (GWs) in the universe, and...
Gravitational recoil from spinning binary black hole mergers
Herrmann, F; Laguna, P; Matzner, R A; Shoemaker, D; Herrmann, Frank; Hinder, Ian; Laguna, Pablo; Matzner, Richard A.; Shoemaker, Deirdre
2007-01-01
The inspiral and merger of binary black holes will likely involve black holes with both unequal masses and arbitrary spins. The gravitational radiation emitted by these binaries will carry angular as well as linear momentum. A net flux of emitted linear momentum implies that the black hole produced by the merger will experience a recoil or kick. Previous studies have focused on the recoil velocity from unequal mass, non-spinning binaries. We present results from simulations of equal mass but spinning black hole binaries and show how a significant gravitational recoil can also be obtained in these situations. We consider the case of black holes with opposite spins aligned with the orbital angular momentum. For the initial setups under consideration, we find a recoil velocity of $V = 475 \\KMS |a| $, with $a$ the dimensionless spin parameters of the individual holes. Supermassive black hole mergers producing kicks of this magnitude could result in the ejection from the cores of dwarf galaxies of the final hole p...
Mergers of nonspinning black-hole binaries: Gravitational radiation characteristics
Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J.; McWilliams, Sean T.; van Meter, James R.
2008-01-01
We present a detailed descriptive analysis of the gravitational radiation from black-hole binary mergers of nonspinning black holes, based on numerical simulations of systems varying from equal-mass to a 6:1 mass ratio. Our primary goal is to present relatively complete information about the waveforms, including all the leading multipolar components, to interested researchers. In our analysis, we pursue the simplest physical description of the dominant features in the radiation, providing an ...
BPASS predictions for Binary Black-Hole Mergers
Eldridge, J J
2016-01-01
Using the Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis code BPASS, we have calculated the rates, timescales and mass distributions for binary black hole mergers as a function of metallicity. We consider these in the context of the recently reported 1st LIGO event detection. We find that the event has a low probability of arising from a stellar population with initial metallicity mass fraction above $Z=0.010$. Binary black hole merger events with the reported masses are most likely in populations between Z=0.0001 and 0.002 (Z < 0.1Z_sun). The masses inferred for the black holes in the binary progenitor of GW 150914 are close to the predicted peak in the mass distribution for such events. We discuss the implications of our analysis for the electromagnetic follow-up of future LIGO event detections.
Understanding the "antikick" in the merger of binary black holes.
Rezzolla, Luciano; Macedo, Rodrigo P; Jaramillo, José Luis
2010-06-01
The generation of a large recoil velocity from the inspiral and merger of binary black holes represents one of the most exciting results of numerical-relativity calculations. While many aspects of this process have been investigated and explained, the "antikick," namely, the sudden deceleration after the merger, has not yet found a simple explanation. We show that the antikick can be understood in terms of the radiation from a deformed black hole where the anisotropic curvature distribution on the horizon correlates with the direction and intensity of the recoil. Our analysis is focused on Robinson-Trautman spacetimes and allows us to measure both the energies and momenta radiated in a gauge-invariant manner. At the same time, this simpler setup provides the qualitative and quantitative features of merging black holes, opening the way to a deeper understanding of the nonlinear dynamics of black-hole spacetimes. PMID:20867159
Binary Black Hole Mergers, Gravitational Waves, and LISA
Centrella, Joan; Baker, J.; Boggs, W.; Kelly, B.; McWilliams, S.; van Meter, J.
2007-12-01
The final merger of comparable mass binary black holes is expected to be the strongest source of gravitational waves for LISA. Since these mergers take place in regions of extreme gravity, we need to solve Einstein's equations of general relativity on a computer in order to calculate these waveforms. For more than 30 years, scientists have tried to compute black hole mergers using the methods of numerical relativity. The resulting computer codes have been plagued by instabilities, causing them to crash well before the black holes in the binary could complete even a single orbit. Within the past few years, however, this situation has changed dramatically, with a series of remarkable breakthroughs. We will present the results of new simulations of black hole mergers with unequal masses and spins, focusing on the gravitational waves emitted and the accompanying astrophysical "kicks.” The magnitude of these kicks has bearing on the production and growth of supermassive blackholes during the epoch of structure formation, and on the retention of black holes in stellar clusters. This work was supported by NASA grant 06-BEFS06-19, and the simulations were carried out using Project Columbia at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division (Ames Research Center) and at the NASA Center for Computational Sciences (Goddard Space Flight Center).
Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger.
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2016-02-12
On September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The signal sweeps upwards in frequency from 35 to 250 Hz with a peak gravitational-wave strain of 1.0×10(-21). It matches the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal was observed with a matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203,000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1σ. The source lies at a luminosity distance of 410(-180)(+160) Mpc corresponding to a redshift z=0.09(-0.04)(+0.03). In the source frame, the initial black hole masses are 36(-4)(+5)M⊙ and 29(-4)(+4)M⊙, and the final black hole mass is 62(-4)(+4)M⊙, with 3.0(-0.5)(+0.5)M⊙c(2) radiated in gravitational waves. All uncertainties define 90% credible intervals. These observations demonstrate the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems. This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger. PMID:26918975
Growth of supermassive black holes, galaxy mergers and supermassive binary black holes
Komossa, S; Liu, F K
2016-01-01
The study of galaxy mergers and supermassive binary black holes (SMBBHs) is central to our understanding of the galaxy and black hole assembly and (co-)evolution at the epoch of structure formation and throughout cosmic history. Galaxy mergers are the sites of major accretion episodes, they power quasars, grow supermassive black holes (SMBHs), and drive SMBH-host scaling relations. The coalescing SMBBHs at their centers are the loudest sources of gravitational waves (GWs) in the universe, and the subsequent GW recoil has a variety of potential astrophysical implications which are still under exploration. Future GW astronomy will open a completely new window on structure formation and galaxy mergers, including the direct detection of coalescing SMBBHs, high-precision measurements of their masses and spins, and constraints on BH formation and evolution in the high-redshift universe.
Black Hole - Neutron Star Binary Mergers
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Gravitational radiation waveforms for black hole-neutron star coalescence calculations. The physical input is Newtonian physics, an ideal gas equation of state with...
Binary Black Hole merger in f(R) theory
Cao, Zhoujian; Li, Li-Fang
2016-01-01
In the near future, gravitational wave detection is set to become an important observational tool for astrophysics. It will provide us with an excellent means to distinguish different gravitational theories. In effective form, many gravitational theories can be cast into an f(R) theory. In this article, we study the dynamics and gravitational waveform of an equal-mass binary black hole system in f(R) theory. We reduce the equations of motion in f(R) theory to the Einstein-Klein-Gordon coupled equations. In this form, it is straightforward to modify our existing numerical relativistic codes to simulate binary black hole mergers in f(R) theory. We considered binary black holes surrounded by a shell of scalar field. We solve the initial data numerically using the Olliptic code. The evolution part is calculated using the extended AMSSNCKU code. Both codes were updated and tested to solve the problem of binary black holes in f(R) theory. Our results show that the binary black hole dynamics in f(R) theory is more c...
Observing Mergers of Nonspinning Black Hole Binaries with LISA
McWilliams S.; Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan; Kelly Bernard J.; Thorpe, J. Ira; vanMeter, James R.
2008-01-01
Recent advances in the field of numerical relativity now make it possible to calculate the final, most powerful merger phase of binary black hole coalescence. We present the application of nonspinning numerical relativity waveforms to the search for and precision measurement of black hole binary coalescences using LISA. In particular, we focus on the advances made in moving beyond the equal mass, nonspinning case into other regions of parameter space, focusing on the case of nonspinning holes with ever-increasing mass ratios. We analyze the available unequal mass merger waveforms from numerical relativity, and compare them to two models, both of which use an effective one body treatment of the inspiral, but which use fundamentally different approaches to the treatment of the merger-ringdown. We confirm the expected mass ratio scaling of the merger, and investigate the changes in waveform behavior and their observational impact with changing mass ratio. Finally, we investigate the potential contribution from the merger portion of the waveform to measurement uncertainties of the binary's parameters for the unequal mass case.
Characterizing Black Hole Mergers
Baker, John; Boggs, William Darian; Kelly, Bernard
2010-01-01
Binary black hole mergers are a promising source of gravitational waves for interferometric gravitational wave detectors. Recent advances in numerical relativity have revealed the predictions of General Relativity for the strong burst of radiation generated in the final moments of binary coalescence. We explore features in the merger radiation which characterize the final moments of merger and ringdown. Interpreting the waveforms in terms of an rotating implicit radiation source allows a unified phenomenological description of the system from inspiral through ringdown. Common features in the waveforms allow quantitative description of the merger signal which may provide insights for observations large-mass black hole binaries.
Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background due to Primordial Binary Black Hole Mergers
Mandic, Vuk; Bird, Simeon; Cholis, Ilias
2016-01-01
Recent Advanced LIGO detections of binary black hole mergers have prompted multiple studies investigating the possibility that the heavy GW150914 binary system was of primordial origin, and hence could be evidence for dark matter in the form of black holes. We compute the stochastic background arising from the incoherent superposition of such primordial binary black hole systems in the universe and compare it to the similar background spectrum due to binary black hole systems of stellar origi...
Rodriguez, Carl L.; Chatterjee, Sourav; Rasio, Frederic A.
2016-04-01
The recent discovery of GW150914, the binary black hole merger detected by Advanced LIGO, has the potential to revolutionize observational astrophysics. But to fully utilize this new window into the Universe, we must compare these new observations to detailed models of binary black hole formation throughout cosmic time. Expanding upon our previous work [C. L. Rodriguez, M. Morscher, B. Pattabiraman, S. Chatterjee, C.-J. Haster, and F. A. Rasio, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 051101 (2015).], we study merging binary black holes formed in globular clusters using our Monte Carlo approach to stellar dynamics. We have created a new set of 52 cluster models with different masses, metallicities, and radii to fully characterize the binary black hole merger rate. These models include all the relevant dynamical processes (such as two-body relaxation, strong encounters, and three-body binary formation) and agree well with detailed direct N -body simulations. In addition, we have enhanced our stellar evolution algorithms with updated metallicity-dependent stellar wind and supernova prescriptions, allowing us to compare our results directly to the most recent population synthesis predictions for merger rates from isolated binary evolution. We explore the relationship between a cluster's global properties and the population of binary black holes that it produces. In particular, we derive a numerically calibrated relationship between the merger times of ejected black hole binaries and a cluster's mass and radius. With our improved treatment of stellar evolution, we find that globular clusters can produce a significant population of massive black hole binaries that merge in the local Universe. We explore the masses and mass ratios of these binaries as a function of redshift, and find a merger rate of ˜5 Gpc-3yr-1 in the local Universe, with 80% of sources having total masses from 32 M⊙ to 64 M⊙. Under standard assumptions, approximately one out of every seven binary black hole mergers
Dvorkin, Irina; Silk, Joseph; Uzan, Jean-Philippe; Olive, Keith A
2016-01-01
The recent detection of the binary black hole merger GW150914 demonstrates the existence of black holes more massive than previously observed in X-ray binaries in our Galaxy. This article explores different scenarios of black hole formation in the context of self-consistent cosmic chemical evolution models that simultaneously match observations of the cosmic star formation rate, optical depth to reionization and metallicity of the interstellar medium. This framework is used to calculate the mass distribution of merging black hole binaries and its evolution with redshift. We also study the implications of the black hole mass distribution for the stochastic gravitational wave background from mergers and from core collapse events.
Rodriguez, Carl L; Rasio, Frederic A
2016-01-01
Expanding upon our previous work (Rodriguez et al., 2015), we study merging binary black holes formed in globular clusters using our Monte Carlo approach to stellar dynamics. We have created a new set of 52 cluster models with different masses, metallicities, and radii to fully characterize the binary black hole merger rate. These models include all the relevant dynamical processes (such as two-body relaxation, strong encounters, and three-body binary formation) and agree well with detailed direct N-body simulations. In addition, we have enhanced our stellar evolution algorithms with updated metallicity-dependent stellar wind and supernova prescriptions, allowing us to compare our results directly to the most recent population synthesis predictions for merger rates from isolated binary evolution. We explore the relationship between a cluster's global properties and the population of binary black holes that it produces. In particular, we derive a numerically calibrated relationship between the merger times of ...
Observing Mergers of Non-Spinning Black-Hole Binaries
McWilliams, Sean T.; Boggs, William D.; Baker, John G.; Kelly, Bernard J.
2010-01-01
Advances in the field of numerical relativity now make it possible to calculate the final, most powerful merger phase of binary black-hole coalescence for generic binaries. The state of the art has advanced well beyond the equal-mass case into the unequal-mass and spinning regions of parameter space. We present a study of the nonspinning portion of parameter space, primarily using an analytic waveform model tuned to available numerical data, with an emphasis on observational implications. We investigate the impact of varied m8BS ratio on merger signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) for several detectors, and compare our results with expectations from the test-mass limit. We note a striking similarity of the waveform phasing of the merger waveform across the available mass ratios. Motivated by this, we calculate the match between our equal-mass and 4:1 mass-ratio waveforms during the merger as a function of location on the source sky, using a new formalism for the match that accounts for higher harmonics. This is an indicator of the amount of degeneracy in mass ratio for mergers of moderate mass ratio systems.
Observing mergers of non-spinning black-hole binaries
McWilliams, Sean T; Baker, John G
2010-01-01
Advances in the field of numerical relativity now make it possible to calculate the final, most powerful merger phase of binary black-hole coalescence for generic binaries. The state of the art has advanced well beyond the equal-mass case into the unequal-mass and spinning regions of parameter space. We present a study of the nonspinning portion of parameter space, primarily using an analytic waveform model tuned to available numerical data, with an emphasis on observational implications. We investigate the impact of varied mass ratio on merger signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) for several detectors, and compare our results with expectations from the test-mass limit. We note a striking similarity of the waveform phasing of the merger waveform across the available mass ratios. Motivated by this, we calculate the match between our 1:1 (equal mass) and 4:1 mass-ratio waveforms during the merger as a function of location on the source sky, using a new formalism for the match that accounts for higher harmonics. This i...
Massive Black Hole Binary Mergers in Dynamical Galactic Environments
Kelley, Luke Zoltan; Blecha, Laura; Hernquist, Lars
2016-01-01
Gravitational Waves (GW) have now been detected from stellar-mass black hole binaries, and the first observations of GW from Massive Black Hole (MBH) Binaries are expected within the next decade. Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTA), which can measure the years long periods of GW from MBHB, have excluded many standard predictions for the amplitude of a stochastic GW Background (GWB). We use coevolved populations of MBH and galaxies from hydrodynamic, cosmological simulations ('Illustris') to calculate ...
Dvorkin, Irina; Vangioni, Elisabeth; Silk, Joseph; Uzan, Jean-Philippe; Olive, Keith A.
2016-01-01
The recent detection of the binary black hole merger GW150914 demonstrates the existence of black holes more massive than previously observed in X-ray binaries in our Galaxy. This article explores different scenarios of black hole formation in the context of self-consistent cosmic chemical evolution models that simultaneously match observations of the cosmic star formation rate, optical depth to reionization and metallicity of the interstellar medium. This framework is used to calculate the m...
Binary Black Hole Mergers from Globular Clusters: Implications for Advanced LIGO.
Rodriguez, Carl L; Morscher, Meagan; Pattabiraman, Bharath; Chatterjee, Sourav; Haster, Carl-Johan; Rasio, Frederic A
2015-07-31
The predicted rate of binary black hole mergers from galactic fields can vary over several orders of magnitude and is extremely sensitive to the assumptions of stellar evolution. But in dense stellar environments such as globular clusters, binary black holes form by well-understood gravitational interactions. In this Letter, we study the formation of black hole binaries in an extensive collection of realistic globular cluster models. By comparing these models to observed Milky Way and extragalactic globular clusters, we find that the mergers of dynamically formed binaries could be detected at a rate of ∼100 per year, potentially dominating the binary black hole merger rate. We also find that a majority of cluster-formed binaries are more massive than their field-formed counterparts, suggesting that Advanced LIGO could identify certain binaries as originating from dense stellar environments. PMID:26274407
The Role of the Kozai-Lidov Mechanism in Black Hole Binary Mergers in Galactic Centers
VanLandingham, John H.; Miller, M. Coleman; Hamilton, Douglas P.; Richardson, Derek C.
2016-01-01
In order to understand the rate of merger of stellar-mass black hole binaries (BHBs) by gravitational wave (GW) emission it is important to determine the major pathways to merger. We use numerical simulations to explore the evolution of BHBs inside the radius of influence of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in galactic centers. In this region the evolution of binaries is dominated by perturbations from the central SMBH. In particular, as first pointed out by Antonini and Perets, the Kozai-Lid...
Properties of the Binary Black Hole Merger GW150914.
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Vaulin, R; Vecchio, A; Vedovato, G; Veitch, J; Veitch, P J; Venkateswara, K; Verkindt, D; Vetrano, F; Viceré, A; Vinciguerra, S; Vine, D J; Vinet, J-Y; Vitale, S; Vo, T; Vocca, H; Vorvick, C; Voss, D; Vousden, W D; Vyatchanin, S P; Wade, A R; Wade, L E; Wade, M; Walker, M; Wallace, L; Walsh, S; Wang, G; Wang, H; Wang, M; Wang, X; Wang, Y; Ward, R L; Warner, J; Was, M; Weaver, B; Wei, L-W; Weinert, M; Weinstein, A J; Weiss, R; Welborn, T; Wen, L; Weßels, P; Westphal, T; Wette, K; Whelan, J T; White, D J; Whiting, B F; Williams, R D; Williamson, A R; Willis, J L; Willke, B; Wimmer, M H; Winkler, W; Wipf, C C; Wittel, H; Woan, G; Worden, J; Wright, J L; Wu, G; Yablon, J; Yam, W; Yamamoto, H; Yancey, C C; Yap, M J; Yu, H; Yvert, M; Zadrożny, A; Zangrando, L; Zanolin, M; Zendri, J-P; Zevin, M; Zhang, F; Zhang, L; Zhang, M; Zhang, Y; Zhao, C; Zhou, M; Zhou, Z; Zhu, X J; Zucker, M E; Zuraw, S E; Zweizig, J; Boyle, M; Brügmann, B; Campanelli, M; Clark, M; Hamberger, D; Kidder, L E; Kinsey, M; Laguna, P; Ossokine, S; Scheel, M A; Szilagyi, B; Teukolsky, S; Zlochower, Y
2016-06-17
On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected a gravitational-wave transient (GW150914); we characterize the properties of the source and its parameters. The data around the time of the event were analyzed coherently across the LIGO network using a suite of accurate waveform models that describe gravitational waves from a compact binary system in general relativity. GW150914 was produced by a nearly equal mass binary black hole of masses 36_{-4}^{+5}M_{⊙} and 29_{-4}^{+4}M_{⊙}; for each parameter we report the median value and the range of the 90% credible interval. The dimensionless spin magnitude of the more massive black hole is bound to be <0.7 (at 90% probability). The luminosity distance to the source is 410_{-180}^{+160} Mpc, corresponding to a redshift 0.09_{-0.04}^{+0.03} assuming standard cosmology. The source location is constrained to an annulus section of 610 deg^{2}, primarily in the southern hemisphere. The binary merges into a black hole of mass 62_{-4}^{+4}M_{⊙} and spin 0.67_{-0.07}^{+0.05}. This black hole is significantly more massive than any other inferred from electromagnetic observations in the stellar-mass regime. PMID:27367378
Massive Black Hole Binary Mergers in Dynamical Galactic Environments
Kelley, Luke Zoltan; Hernquist, Lars
2016-01-01
Gravitational Waves (GW) have now been detected from stellar-mass black hole binaries, and the first observations of GW from Massive Black Hole (MBH) Binaries are expected within the next decade. Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTA), which can measure the years long periods of GW from MBHB, have excluded many standard predictions for the amplitude of a stochastic GW Background (GWB). We use coevolved populations of MBH and galaxies from hydrodynamic, cosmological simulations ('Illustris') to calculate a predicted GWB. The most advanced predictions so far have included binary hardening mechanisms from individual environmental processes. We present the first calculation including all of the environmental mechanisms expected to be involved: dynamical friction, stellar 'loss-cone' scattering, and viscous drag from a circumbinary disk. We find that MBH binary lifetimes are generally multiple gigayears, and only a fraction coalesce by redshift zero. For a variety of parameters, we find all GWB amplitudes to be below the most...
Properties of the Binary Black Hole Merger GW150914
Abbott, B.P.; Abbott, R.; Abernathy, M. R.; Adhikari, R. X; Anderson, S. B.; Arai, K; Araya, M. C.; Barayoga, J. C.; Barish, B. C.; Berger, B. K.; Billingsley, G.; Blackburn, J. K.; Bork, R.; Brooks, A. F.; Cahillane, C.
2016-01-01
On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected a gravitational-wave transient (GW150914); we characterize the properties of the source and its parameters. The data around the time of the event were analyzed coherently across the LIGO network using a suite of accurate waveform models that describe gravitational waves from a compact binary system in general relativity. GW150914 was produced by a nearly equal mass binary black hole of masses 36^(+5...
Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger
,
2016-01-01
On September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The signal sweeps upwards in frequency from 35 to 250 Hz with a peak gravitational-wave strain of $1.0 \\times 10^{-21}$. It matches the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal was observed with a matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203 000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1 {\\sigma}. The source lies at a luminosity distance of $410^{+160}_{-180}$ Mpc corresponding to a redshift $z = 0.09^{+0.03}_{-0.04}$. In the source frame, the initial black hole masses are $36^{+5}_{-4} M_\\odot$ and $29^{+4}_{-4} M_\\odot$, and the final black hole mass is $62^{+4}_{-4} M_\\odot$, with $3.0^{+0.5}_{-0.5} M_\\odot c^2$ radiated in gravitational waves. ...
Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background due to Primordial Binary Black Hole Mergers
Mandic, Vuk; Cholis, Ilias
2016-01-01
Recent Advanced LIGO detections of binary black hole mergers have prompted multiple studies investigating the possibility that the heavy GW150914 binary system was of primordial origin, and hence could be evidence for dark matter in the form of black holes. We compute the stochastic background arising from the incoherent superposition of such primordial binary black hole systems in the universe and compare it to the similar background spectrum due to binary black hole systems of stellar origin. We investigate the possibility of detecting this background with future gravitational wave detectors, and discuss the possibility of using the stochastic gravitational-wave background measurement to constrain the dark matter component in the form of black holes.
Template Mode Hierarchies for Binary Black Hole Mergers
Healy, James; Pekowsky, Larne; Shoemaker, Deirdre
2013-01-01
Matched filtering is a popular data analysis framework used to search for gravitational wave signals emitted by compact object binaries. The templates used in matched filtering searches are constructed predominantly from the quadrupolar mode because this mode is the energetically most dominant channel. However, for highly precessing binaries or binaries with moderately large mass ratios, significant power is also carried by higher-order modes. We investigate how the inclusion of higher modes in the templates increases the prospects for detecting gravitational waves. Specifically, we use numerical relativity waveforms from the late inspiral and coalescence of binary black holes to identify mode hierarchies that cover the sky of binary orientations. We show that the ordering in these hierarchies depends on the characteristics of the binary system and the mode strengths. Our study demonstrates that detecting moderately high precessing or unequal mass binaries requires the inclusion of higher modes in the templat...
Search for gravitational waves from binary black hole inspiral, merger and ringdown
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Brand, J F J van den; Broeck, C Van Den; van der Putten, S; van der Sluys, M V; van Veggel, A A; Vass, S; Vasuth, M; Vaulin, R; Vavoulidis, M; Vecchio, A; Vedovato, G; Veitch, J; Veitch, P J; Veltkamp, C; Verkindt, D; Vetrano, F; Viceré, A; Villar, A E; Vinet, J -Y; Vocca, H; Vorvick, C; Vyachanin, S P; Waldman, S J; Wallace, L; Wanner, A; Ward, R L; Was, M; Wei, P; Weinert, M; Weinstein, A J; Weiss, R; Wen, L; Wen, S; Wessels, P; West, M; Westphal, T; Wette, K; Whelan, J T; Whitcomb, S E; White, D; Whiting, B F; Wilkinson, C; Willems, P A; Williams, L; Willke, B; Winkelmann, L; Winkler, W; Wipf, C C; Wiseman, A G; Woan, G; Wooley, R; Worden, J; Yakushin, I; Yamamoto, H; Yamamoto, K; Yeaton-Massey, D; Yoshida, S; Yu, P; Yvert, M; Zanolin, M; Zhang, L; Zhang, Z; Zhao, C; Zotov, N; Zucker, M E; Zweizig, J
2011-01-01
We present the first modeled search for gravitational waves using the complete binary black hole gravitational waveform from inspiral through the merger and ringdown for binaries with negligible component spin. We searched approximately 2 years of LIGO data taken between November 2005 and September 2007 for systems with component masses of 1-99 solar masses and total masses of 25-100 solar masses. We did not detect any plausible gravitational-wave signals but we do place upper limits on the merger rate of binary black holes as a function of the component masses in this range. We constrain the rate of mergers for binary black hole systems with component masses between 19 and 28 solar masses and negligible spin to be no more than 2.0 per Mpc^3 per Myr at 90% confidence.
Investigating Binary Black Hole Mergers with Principal Component Analysis
Clark, James; Healy, James; Heng, Ik Siong; Logue, Josh; Mangini, Nicholas; London, Lionel; Pekowsky, Larne; Shoemaker, Deirdre
2014-01-01
Despite recent progress in numerical simulations of the coalescence of binary black hole systems, highly asymmetric spinning systems and the construction of accurate physical templates remain challenging and computationally expensive. We explore the feasibility of a prompt and robust test of whether the signals exhibit evidence for generic features that can educate new simulations. We form catalogs of numerical relativity waveforms with distinct physical effects and compute the relative probability that a gravitational wave signal belongs to each catalog. We introduce an algorithm designed to perform this task for coalescence signals using principal component analysis of waveform catalogs and Bayesian model selection and demonstrate its effectiveness.
Perturbed disks get shocked. Binary black hole merger effects on accretion disks
Megevand, Miguel; Anderson, Matthew; Frank, Juhan; Hirschmann, Eric W.; Lehner, Luis; Liebling, Steven L.; Motl, Patrick M; Neilsen, David
2009-01-01
The merger process of a binary black hole system can have a strong impact on a circumbinary disk. In the present work we study the effect of both central mass reduction (due to the energy loss through gravitational waves) and a possible black hole recoil (due to asymmetric emission of gravitational radiation). For the mass reduction case and recoil directed along the disk's angular momentum, oscillations are induced in the disk which then modulate the internal energy and bremsstrahlung lumino...
Dynamical formation signatures of black hole binaries in the first detected mergers by LIGO
O'Leary, Ryan M; Kocsis, Bence
2016-01-01
The dynamical formation of stellar-mass black hole-black hole binaries has long been a promising source of gravitational waves for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Mass segregation, gravitational focusing, and multibody dynamical interactions naturally increase the interaction rate between the most massive black holes in dense stellar systems, eventually leading them to merge. We find that dynamical interactions enhance the merger rate of black hole binaries with total mass M_tot roughly as ~M_tot^beta, with beta >~ 4. We find that this relation holds mostly independently of the initial mass function, but the exact value depends on the degree of mass segregation. The detection rate of such massive black hole binaries is only further enhanced by LIGO's greater sensitivity to massive black hole binaries with M_tot <~ 80 solar masses. We find that for power-law BH mass functions dN/dM ~ M^-alpha with alpha <~ 2, LIGO is most likely to detect black hole binaries with a mass tw...
Lang, Ryan
2012-03-01
Massive black holes (MBHs) can be found at the centers of nearly all galaxies. When galaxies merge, the black holes form a binary, which eventually coalesces due to the emission of gravitational waves. The final merger is a complicated process which can only be understood by numerically integrating Einstein's equations of general relativity. For many years, this was an impossible task; however, breakthroughs in 2005 and 2006 led to the first evolutions of binary black hole spacetimes through the merger process. Far from being esoteric results interesting only to hardcore relativists, these simulations have turned out to be very important for astrophysics. For example, if the gravitational waves are emitted asymmetrically, conservation of momentum implies that the resulting black hole will experience a recoil or ``kick.'' Numerical studies have shown that in some configurations, the kick can reach values as large as ˜5000 km/s. The simulations also allow the final spins of the black holes to be calculated. In the future, astrophysical information about coalescing MBH binaries will be obtained by directly measuring the gravitational waves with space-based detectors. In this case, the inclusion of accurate merger and ringdown waveforms into the signal model allows for significant improvement in measuring system parameters like mass, spin, and luminosity distance.
Late Inspiral and Merger of Binary Black Holes in Scalar-Tensor Theories of Gravity
Healy, James; Haas, Roland; Pazos, Enrique; Laguna, Pablo; Shoemaker, Deirdre M; Yunes, Nicolás
2011-01-01
Gravitational wave observations will probe non-linear gravitational interactions and thus enable strong tests of Einstein's theory of general relativity. We present a numerical relativity study of the late inspiral and merger of binary black holes in scalar-tensor theories of gravity. We consider black hole binaries in an inhomogeneous scalar field, specifically binaries inside a scalar field bubble, in some cases with a potential. We calculate the emission of dipole radiation. We also show how these configurations trigger detectable differences between gravitational waves in scalar-tensor gravity and the corresponding waves in general relativity. We conclude that, barring an external mechanism to induce dynamics in the scalar field, scalar-tensor gravity binary black holes alone are not capable of awaking a dormant scalar field, and are thus observationally indistinguishable from their general relativistic counterparts.
Rapid formation of supermassive black hole binaries in galaxy mergers with gas.
Mayer, L; Kazantzidis, S; Madau, P; Colpi, M; Quinn, T; Wadsley, J
2007-06-29
Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are a ubiquitous component of the nuclei of galaxies. It is normally assumed that after the merger of two massive galaxies, a SMBH binary will form, shrink because of stellar or gas dynamical processes, and ultimately coalesce by emitting a burst of gravitational waves. However, so far it has not been possible to show how two SMBHs bind during a galaxy merger with gas because of the difficulty of modeling a wide range of spatial scales. Here we report hydrodynamical simulations that track the formation of a SMBH binary down to scales of a few light years after the collision between two spiral galaxies. A massive, turbulent, nuclear gaseous disk arises as a result of the galaxy merger. The black holes form an eccentric binary in the disk in less than 1 million years as a result of the gravitational drag from the gas rather than from the stars. PMID:17556550
Rapid Formation of Supermassive Black Hole Binaries in Galaxy Mergers with Gas
Mayer, L.; /Zurich U. /Zurich, ETH; Kazantzidis, S.; /KIPAC, Menlo Park; Madau, P.; /UC, Santa Cruz /Garching, Max Planck Inst.; Colpi, M.; /Milan Bicocca U.; Quinn, T.; /Washington U., Seattle; Wadsley, J.; /McMaster U.
2008-03-24
Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are a ubiquitous component of the nuclei of galaxies. It is normally assumed that, following the merger of two massive galaxies, a SMBH binary will form, shrink due to stellar or gas dynamical processes and ultimately coalesce by emitting a burst of gravitational waves. However, so far it has not been possible to show how two SMBHs bind during a galaxy merger with gas due to the difficulty of modeling a wide range of spatial scales. Here we report hydrodynamical simulations that track the formation of a SMBH binary down to scales of a few light years following the collision between two spiral galaxies. A massive, turbulent nuclear gaseous disk arises as a result of the galaxy merger. The black holes form an eccentric binary in the disk in less than a million years as a result of the gravitational drag from the gas rather than from the stars.
Supermassive recoil velocities for binary black-hole mergers with antialigned spins.
González, José A; Hannam, Mark; Sperhake, Ulrich; Brügmann, Bernd; Husa, Sascha
2007-06-01
Recent calculations of the recoil velocity in binary black-hole mergers have found the kick velocity to be of the order of a few hundred km/s in the case of nonspinning binaries and about 500 km/s in the case of spinning configurations, and have lead to predictions of a maximum kick of up to 1300 km/s. We test these predictions and demonstrate that kick velocities of at least 2500 km/s are possible for equal-mass binaries with antialigned spins in the orbital plane. Kicks of that magnitude are likely to have significant repercussions for models of black-hole formation, the population of intergalactic black holes, and the structure of host galaxies. PMID:17677893
Mergers of Black-Hole Binaries with Aligned Spins: Waveform Characteristics
Kelly, Bernard J.; Baker, John G.; vanMeter, James R.; Boggs, William D.; McWilliams, Sean T.; Centrella, Joan
2011-01-01
"We apply our gravitational-waveform analysis techniques, first presented in the context of nonspinning black holes of varying mass ratio [1], to the complementary case of equal-mass spinning black-hole binary systems. We find that, as with the nonspinning mergers, the dominant waveform modes phases evolve together in lock-step through inspiral and merger, supporting the previous model of the binary system as an adiabatically rigid rotator driving gravitational-wave emission - an implicit rotating source (IRS). We further apply the late-merger model for the rotational frequency introduced in [1], along with a new mode amplitude model appropriate for the dominant (2, plus or minus 2) modes. We demonstrate that this seven-parameter model performs well in matches with the original numerical waveform for system masses above - 150 solar mass, both when the parameters are freely fit, and when they are almost completely constrained by physical considerations."
The Role of the Kozai--Lidov Mechanism in Black Hole Binary Mergers in Galactic Centers
VanLandingham, John H.; Miller, M. Coleman; Hamilton, Douglas P.; Richardson, Derek C.
2016-09-01
In order to understand the rate of merger of stellar mass black hole binaries (BHBs) by gravitational wave (GW) emission it is important to determine the major pathways to merger. We use numerical simulations to explore the evolution of BHBs inside the radius of influence of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in galactic centers. In this region, the evolution of binaries is dominated by perturbations from the central SMBH. In particular, as first pointed out by Antonini and Perets, the Kozai–Lidov mechanism trades relative inclination of the BHB to the SMBH for eccentricity of the BHB, and for some orientations can bring the BHB to an eccentricity near unity. At very high eccentricities, GW emission from the BHB can become efficient, causing the members of the BHB to coalesce. We use a novel combination of two N-body codes to follow this evolution. We are required to simulate small systems to follow the behavior accurately. We have completed 400 simulations that range from ∼300 stars around a 103 {M}ȯ black hole to ∼4500 stars around a 104 {M}ȯ black hole. These simulations are the first to follow the internal orbit of a binary near an SMBH while also following the changes to its external orbit self-consistently. We find that this mechanism could produce mergers at a maximum rate per volume of ∼100 Gpc‑3 yr‑1 or considerably less if the inclination oscillations of the binary remain constant as the BHB inclination to the SMBH changes, or if the binary black hole fraction is small.
Astrophysical Implications of the Binary Black-Hole Merger GW150914
,
2016-01-01
The discovery of the gravitational-wave source GW150914 with the Advanced LIGO detectors provides the first observational evidence for the existence of binary black-hole systems that inspiral and merge within the age of the Universe. Such black-hole mergers have been predicted in two main types of formation models, involving isolated binaries in galactic fields or dynamical interactions in young and old dense stellar environments. The measured masses robustly demonstrate that relatively "heavy" black holes ($\\gtrsim 25\\, M_\\odot$) can form in nature. This discovery implies relatively weak massive-star winds and thus the formation of GW150914 in an environment with metallicity lower than $\\sim 1/2$ of the solar value. The rate of binary black-hole mergers inferred from the observation of GW150914 is consistent with the higher end of rate predictions ($\\gtrsim 1 \\, \\mathrm{Gpc}^{-3} \\, \\mathrm{yr}^{-1}$) from both types of formation models. The low measured redshift ($z \\sim 0.1$) of GW150914 and the low inferr...
Double-double radio galaxies: remnants of merger of supermassive binary black holes
Liu, F K; Cao, S L; Wu, Xue-Bing
2003-01-01
The activity of active galaxy may be triggered by the merge of galaxies and present-day galaxies are probably the product of successive minor mergers. The frequent galactic merges at high redshift imply that active galaxy harbors supermassive unequal-mass binary black holes in its center at least once during its life time. In this paper, we showed that the recently discovered double-lobed FR II radio galaxies are the remnants of such supermassive binary black holes. The inspiraling secondary black hole opens a gap in the accretion disk and removes the inner accretion disk when it merges into the primary black hole, leaving a big hole of about several hundreds of Schwarzschild radius in the vicinity of the post-merged supermassive black hole and leading to an interruption of jet formation. When the outer accretion disk slowly refills the big hole on a viscous time scale, the jet formation restarts and the interaction of the recurrent jets and the inter-galactic medium forms a secondary pair of lobes. We applie...
Gravitational-wave memory revisited: memory from the merger and recoil of binary black holes
Favata, Marc
2009-01-01
Gravitational-wave memory refers to the permanent displacement of the test masses in an idealized (freely-falling) gravitational-wave interferometer. Inspiraling binaries produce a particularly interesting form of memory--the Christodoulou memory. Although it originates from nonlinear interactions at 2.5 post-Newtonian order, the Christodoulou memory affects the gravitational-wave amplitude at leading (Newtonian) order. Previous calculations have computed this non-oscillatory amplitude correction during the inspiral phase of binary coalescence. Using an "effective-one-body" description calibrated with the results of numerical relativity simulations, the evolution of the memory during the inspiral, merger, and ringdown phases, and the memory's final saturation value, are calculated. Using this model for the memory, the prospects for its detection are examined, particularly for supermassive black hole binary coalescences that LISA will detect with high signal-to-noise ratios. Coalescing binary black holes also ...
The Status of Black-Hole Binary Merger Simulations with Numerical Relativity
McWilliams, Sean T.
2010-01-01
The advent of long-term stability in numerical relativity has yielded a windfall of answers to long-standing questions regarding the dynamics of space-time, matter, and electromagnetic fields in the strong-field regime of black-hole binary mergers. In this review, we will briefly summarize the methodology currently applied to these problems, emphasizing the most recent advancements. We will discuss recent results of astrophysical relevance, and present some novel interpretation. Though we pri...
Gravitational-wave cutoff frequencies of tidally disruptive neutron star-black hole binary mergers
Pannarale, Francesco; Kyutoku, Koutarou; Lackey, Benjamin D; Shibata, Masaru
2015-01-01
Tidal disruption has a dramatic impact on the outcome of neutron star-black hole mergers. The phenomenology of these systems can be divided in three classes: nondisruptive, mildly disruptive or disruptive. The cutoff frequency of the gravitational radiation produced during the merger (which is potentially measurable by interferometric detectors) is very different in each regime, and when the merger is disuptive it carries information on the neutron star equation of state. Here we use semianalytical tools to derive a formula for the critical binary mass ratio $Q=M_{\\rm BH}/M_{\\rm NS}$ below which mergers are disruptive as a function of the stellar compactness $\\mathcal{C}=M_{\\rm NS}/R_{\\rm NS}$ and the dimensionless black hole spin $\\chi$. We then employ a new gravitational waveform amplitude model, calibrated to $134$ general relativistic numerical simulations of binaries with black hole spin (anti-)aligned with the orbital angular momentum, to obtain a fit to the gravitational-wave cutoff frequency in the di...
Binary Black Hole Mergers in the first Advanced LIGO Observing Run
,
2016-01-01
The first observational run of the Advanced LIGO detectors, from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, saw the first detections of gravitational waves from binary black hole mergers. In this paper we present full results from a search for binary black hole merger signals with total masses up to $100 M_\\odot$ and detailed implications from our observations of these systems. Our search, based on general-relativistic models of gravitational wave signals from binary black hole systems, unambiguously identified two signals, GW150914 and GW151226, with a significance of greater than $5\\sigma$ over the observing period. It also identified a third possible signal, LVT151012, with substantially lower significance, which has a 87% probability of being of astrophysical origin. We provide detailed estimates of the parameters of the observed systems. Both GW150914 and GW151226 provide an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large velocity, highly nonlinear regime. We d...
The Status of Black-Hole Binary Merger Simulations with Numerical Relativity
McWilliams, Sean T
2010-01-01
The advent of long-term stability in numerical relativity has yielded a windfall of answers to long-standing questions regarding the dynamics of space-time, matter, and electromagnetic fields in the strong-field regime of black-hole binary mergers. In this review, we will briefly summarize the methodology currently applied to these problems, emphasizing the most recent advancements. We will discuss recent results of astrophysical relevance, and present some novel interpretation. Though we primarily present a review, we also present a simple analytical model for the time-dependent Poynting flux from two orbiting black holes immersed in a magnetic field, which compares favorably with recent numerical results. Finally, we will discuss recent advancements in our theoretical understanding of merger dynamics and gravitational waveforms that have resulted from interpreting the ever-growing body of numerical relativity results.
The status of black-hole binary merger simulations with numerical relativity
McWilliams, Sean T, E-mail: sean@astro.columbia.edu [Institute for Strings, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (ISCAP), Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Physics Department, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)
2011-07-07
The advent of long-term stability in numerical relativity has yielded a windfall of answers to long-standing questions regarding the dynamics of space-time, matter, and electromagnetic fields in the strong-field regime of black-hole binary mergers. In this review, we will briefly summarize the methodology currently applied to these problems, emphasizing the most recent advancements. We will discuss recent results of astrophysical relevance, and present some novel interpretation. Although we primarily present a review, we also present a simple analytical model for the time-dependent Poynting flux from two orbiting black holes immersed in a magnetic field, which compares favorably with recent numerical results. Finally, we will discuss recent advancements in our theoretical understanding of merger dynamics and gravitational waveforms that have resulted from interpreting the ever-growing body of numerical relativity results.
Blackman, Jonathan; Galley, Chad R; Szilagyi, Bela; Scheel, Mark A; Tiglio, Manuel; Hemberger, Daniel A
2015-01-01
Simulating a binary black hole coalescence by solving Einstein's equations is computationally expensive, requiring days to months of supercomputing time. In this paper, we construct an accurate and fast-to-evaluate surrogate model for numerical relativity (NR) waveforms from non-spinning binary black hole coalescences with mass ratios from $1$ to $10$ and durations corresponding to about $15$ orbits before merger. Our surrogate, which is built using reduced order modeling techniques, is distinct from traditional modeling efforts. We find that the full multi-mode surrogate model agrees with waveforms generated by NR to within the numerical error of the NR code. In particular, we show that our modeling strategy produces surrogates which can correctly predict NR waveforms that were {\\em not} used for the surrogate's training. For all practical purposes, then, the surrogate waveform model is equivalent to the high-accuracy, large-scale simulation waveform but can be evaluated in a millisecond to a second dependin...
Computing the merger of black-hole binaries the IBBH problem
Brady, P R; Thorne, K S; Brady, Patrick R.; Creighton, Jolien D. E.; Thorne, Kip S.
1998-01-01
Gravitational radiation arising from the inspiral and merger of binary black holes (BBH's) is a promising candidate for detection by kilometer-scale interferometric gravitational wave observatories. This paper discusses a serious obstacle to searches for such radiation and to the interpretation of any observed waves: the inability of current computational techniques to evolve a BBH through its last ~10 orbits of inspiral (~100 radians of gravitational-wave phase). A new set of numerical-relativity techniques is proposed for solving this ``Intermediate Binary Black Hole'' (IBBH) problem: (i) numerical evolutions performed in coordinates co-rotating with the BBH, in which the metric coefficients evolve on the long timescale of inspiral, and (ii) techniques for mathematically freezing out gravitational degrees of freedom that are not excited by the waves.
Numerical simulation of binary black hole and neutron star mergers
Kastaun, W.; Rezzolla, L.
2014-07-01
Currently, we are expanding our results mainly in three directions. One is the influence of the matter properties at high densities. Another is the influence of resistive effects on the evolution of magnetic fields. Finally, we are including the effects of neutrino cooling into merger simulations. (orig.)
Post-merger evolution of a neutron star-black hole binary with neutrino transport
Foucart, Francois; Roberts, Luke; Duez, Matthew D; Haas, Roland; Kidder, Lawrence E; Ott, Christian D; Pfeiffer, Harald P; Scheel, Mark A; Szilagyi, Bela
2015-01-01
We present a first simulation of the post-merger evolution of a black hole-neutron star binary in full general relativity using an energy-integrated general relativistic truncated moment formalism for neutrino transport. We describe our implementation of the moment formalism and important tests of our code, before studying the formation phase of a disk after a black hole-neutron star merger. We use as initial data an existing general relativistic simulation of the merger of a neutron star of 1.4 solar mass with a black hole of 7 solar mass and dimensionless spin a/M=0.8. Comparing with a simpler leakage scheme for the treatment of the neutrinos, we find noticeable differences in the neutron to proton ratio in and around the disk, and in the neutrino luminosity. We find that the electron neutrino luminosity is much lower in the transport simulations, and that the remnant is less neutron-rich. The spatial distribution of the neutrinos is significantly affected by relativistic effects. Over the short timescale e...
Galactic mergers, starburst galaxies, quasar activity and massive binary black holes
Many quasar-like objects show evidence for massive binary black holes. The recent discovery of a massive (5 X 106 Msolar mass) object in the centre of the local group dwarf elliptical M 32 greatly raises the probability of forming such binaries through galactic mergers. The author argues that the enhancement of all kinds of activity (quasar-like activity and star formation) in galaxies with companions is not so much a consequence of tidal interaction between the massive galaxies as the result of collisions with their dwarf satellites. (author)
Perturbed disks get shocked. Binary black hole merger effects on accretion disks
Megevand, Miguel; Frank, Juhan; Hirschmann, Eric W; Lehner, Luis; Liebling, Steven L; Motl, Patrick M; Neilsen, David
2009-01-01
The merger process of a binary black hole system can have a strong impact on a circumbinary disk. In the present work we study the effect of both central mass reduction (due to the energy loss through gravitational waves) and a possible black hole recoil (due to asymmetric emission of gravitational radiation). For the mass reduction case and recoil directed along the disk's angular momentum, oscillations are induced in the disk which then modulate the internal energy and bremsstrahlung luminosities. On the other hand, when the recoil direction has a component orthogonal to the disk's angular momentum, the disk's dynamics are strongly impacted, giving rise to relativistic shocks. The shock heating leaves its signature in our proxies for radiation, the total internal energy and bremsstrahlung luminosity. Interestingly, for cases where the kick velocity is below the smallest orbital velocity in the disk (a likely scenario in real AGN), we observe a common, characteristic pattern in the internal energy of the dis...
Mergers of non-spinning black-hole binaries: Gravitational radiation characteristics
Baker, John G; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J; McWilliams, Sean T; van Meter, James R
2008-01-01
We present a detailed descriptive analysis of the gravitational radiation from black-hole binary mergers of non-spinning black holes, based on numerical simulations of systems varying from equal-mass to a 6:1 mass ratio. Our primary goal is to present relatively complete information about the waveforms, including all the leading multipolar components, to interested researchers. In our analysis, we pursue the simplest physical description of the dominant features in the radiation, providing an interpretation of the waveforms in terms of an {\\em implicit rotating source}. This interpretation applies uniformly to the full wavetrain, from inspiral through ringdown. We emphasize strong relationships among the $\\ell=m$ modes that persist through the full wavetrain. Exploring the structure of the waveforms in more detail, we conduct detailed analytic fitting of the late-time frequency evolution, identifying a key quantitative feature shared by the $\\ell=m$ modes among all mass-ratios. We identify relationships, with...
Komossa, S
2015-01-01
The capture and disruption of stars by supermassive black holes (SMBHs), and the formation and coalescence of binaries, are inevitable consequences of the presence of SMBHs at the cores of galaxies. Pairs of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and binary SMBHs are important stages in the evolution of galaxy mergers, and an intense search for these systems is currently ongoing. In the early and advanced stages of galaxy merging, observations of the triggering of accretion onto one or both BHs inform us about feedback processes and BH growth. Identification of the compact binary SMBHs at parsec and sub-parsec scales provides us with important constraints on the interaction processes that govern the shrinkage of the binary beyond the "final parsec". Coalescing binary SMBHs are among the most powerful sources of gravitational waves (GWs) in the universe. Stellar tidal disruption events (TDEs) appear as luminous, transient, accretion flares when part of the stellar material is accreted by the SMBH. About 30 events have b...
Systematic Biases in Parameter Estimation of Binary Black-Hole Mergers
Littenberg, Tyson B.; Baker, John G.; Buonanno, Alessandra; Kelly, Bernard J.
2012-01-01
Parameter estimation of binary-black-hole merger events in gravitational-wave data relies on matched filtering techniques, which, in turn, depend on accurate model waveforms. Here we characterize the systematic biases introduced in measuring astrophysical parameters of binary black holes by applying the currently most accurate effective-one-body templates to simulated data containing non-spinning numerical-relativity waveforms. For advanced ground-based detectors, we find that the systematic biases are well within the statistical error for realistic signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). These biases grow to be comparable to the statistical errors at high signal-to-noise ratios for ground-based instruments (SNR approximately 50) but never dominate the error budget. At the much larger signal-to-noise ratios expected for space-based detectors, these biases will become large compared to the statistical errors but are small enough (at most a few percent in the black-hole masses) that we expect they should not affect broad astrophysical conclusions that may be drawn from the data.
Berti, E; González, J A; Sperhake, U; Berti, Emanuele; Cardoso, Vitor; Gonzalez, Jose A.; Sperhake, Ulrich
2007-01-01
The ringdown phase following a binary black hole merger is usually assumed to be well described by a linear superposition of complex exponentials (quasinormal modes). In the strong-field conditions typical of a binary black hole merger, non-linear effects may produce mode coupling. Mode coupling can also be induced by the black hole's rotation, or by expanding the radiation field in terms of spin-weighted spherical harmonics (rather than spin-weighted spheroidal harmonics). Observing deviations from the predictions of linear black hole perturbation theory requires optimal fitting techniques to extract ringdown parameters from numerical waveforms, which are inevitably affected by numerical error. So far, non-linear least-squares fitting methods have been used as the standard workhorse to extract frequencies from ringdown waveforms. These methods are known not to be optimal for estimating parameters of complex exponentials. Furthermore, different fitting methods have different performance in the presence of noi...
Black hole - neutron star merger simulations: Precessing binaries with neutrino treatment
Desai, Dhruv; Foucart, Francois; Kasen, Daniel
2016-06-01
Black hole-neutron star (BH-NS) mergers are exciting events to model, as they are a source of gravitational waves, like those discovered for the first time by Advanced LIGO earlier this year. These mergers are also the source of gamma-ray bursts and radioactively powered transients. We present here an outline of our entire research process. We first display results of general relativistic-hydrodynamic simulations using the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC). We ran a set of BH-NS merger simulations varying three of the initial parameters of the black hole: mass, spin magnitude, and spin inclination (relative to the orbital angular momentum of the binary system). The code factors in neutrino cooling and use a temperature dependent, nuclear theory based equation of state, as opposed to simpler equations of state previously used. Though systems which treat precession and neutrino cooling have been simulated individually, the systems we analyzed are the first to take both into account. Once a disk has formed and settled down, we take data from the GR simulations and input it into the particle evolution code, which reads in the positions/velocities and further evolves the system in a Newtonian potential. We then present the fallback rate of bound particles throughout this period of evolution, the approximate density evolution, and the spatial distribution of ejecta.
Gas squeezing during the merger of a supermassive black hole binary
Cerioli, Alice; Price, Daniel J
2016-01-01
We study accretion rates during the gravitational wave-driven merger of a binary supermassive black hole embedded in an accretion disc, formed by gas driven to the centre of the galaxy. We use 3D simulations performed with PHANTOM, a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code. Contrary to previous investigations, we show that there is evidence of a "squeezing phenomenon", caused by the compression of the inner disc gas when the secondary black hole spirals towards the primary. This causes an increase in the accretion rates that always exceed the Eddington rate. We have studied the main features of the phenomenon for a mass ratio $q = 10^{-3}$ between the black holes, including the effects of numerical resolution, the secondary accretion radius and the disc thickness. With our disc model with a low aspect ratio, we show that the mass expelled from the orbit of the secondary is negligible ($< 5\\%$ of the initial disc mass), different to the findings of previous 2D simulations with thicker discs. The increase in th...
The Role of the Kozai-Lidov Mechanism in Black Hole Binary Mergers in Galactic Centers
VanLandingham, John H; Hamilton, Douglas P; Richardson, Derek C
2016-01-01
In order to understand the rate of merger of stellar-mass black hole binaries (BHBs) by gravitational wave (GW) emission it is important to determine the major pathways to merger. We use numerical simulations to explore the evolution of BHBs inside the radius of influence of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in galactic centers. In this region the evolution of binaries is dominated by perturbations from the central SMBH. In particular, as first pointed out by Antonini and Perets, the Kozai-Lidov (KL) mechanism trades relative inclination of the BHB to the SMBH for eccentricity of the BHB, and for some orientations can bring the BHB to an eccentricity near unity. At very high eccentricities, GW emission from the BHB can become efficient, causing the members of the BHB to coalesce. We use a novel combination of two N-body codes to follow this evolution. We are forced to simulate small systems to follow the behavior accurately. We have completed 400 simulations that range from $\\sim$ 300 stars around a $10^{3}$ M...
Modeling Flows Around Merging Black Hole Binaries
van Meter, James R.; Wise, John H.; Miller, M. Coleman; Reynolds, Christopher S.; Centrella, Joan M.; Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Kelly, Bernard J.; McWilliams, Sean T.
2009-01-01
Coalescing massive black hole binaries are produced by the mergers of galaxies. The final stages of the black hole coalescence produce strong gravitational radiation that can be detected by the space-borne LISA. In cases where the black hole merger takes place in the presence of gas and magnetic fields, various types of electromagnetic signals may also be produced. Modeling such electromagnetic counterparts of the final merger requires evolving the behavior of both gas and fields in the stron...
Gravitational-wave memory revisited: Memory from the merger and recoil of binary black holes
Gravitational-wave memory refers to the permanent displacement of the test masses in an idealized (freely-falling) gravitational-wave interferometer. Inspiraling binaries produce a particularly interesting form of memory-the Christodoulou memory. Although it originates from nonlinear interactions at 2.5 post-Newtonian order, the Christodoulou memory affects the gravitational-wave amplitude at leading (Newtonian) order. Previous calculations have computed this non-oscillatory amplitude correction during the inspiral phase of binary coalescence. Using an 'effective-one-body' description calibrated with the results of numerical relativity simulations, the evolution of the memory during the inspiral, merger, and ringdown phases, as well as the memory's final saturation value, are calculated. Using this model for the memory, the prospects for its detection are examined, particularly for supermassive black hole binary coalescences that LISA will detect with high signal-to-noise ratios. Coalescing binary black holes also experience center-of-mass recoil due to the anisotropic emission of gravitational radiation. These recoils can manifest themselves in the gravitational-wave signal in the form of a 'linear' memory and a Doppler shift of the quasi-normal-mode frequencies. The prospects for observing these effects are also discussed.
Mergers of Black Hole -- Neutron Star binaries. I. Methods and First Results
Rantsiou, E; Laguna, P; Rasio, F; Rantsiou, Emmanouela; Kobayashi, Shiho; Laguna, Pablo; Rasio, Frederic
2007-01-01
We use a 3-D relativistic SPH (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics) code to study mergers of black hole -- neutron star (BH--NS) binary systems with low mass ratios, adopting $M_{NS}/M_{BH} \\simeq 0.1$ as a representative case. The outcome of such mergers depends sensitively on both the magnitude of the BH spin and its obliquity (i.e., the inclination of the binary orbit with respect to the equatorial plane of the BH). In particular, only systems with sufficiently high BH spin parameter $a$ and sufficiently low orbital inclinations allow any NS matter to escape or to form a long-lived disk outside the BH horizon after disruption. Mergers of binaries with orbital inclinations above $\\sim60^o$ lead to complete prompt accretion of the entire NS by the BH, even for the case of an extreme Kerr BH. We find that the formation of a significant disk or torus of NS material around the BH always requires a near-maximal BH spin and a low initial inclination of the NS orbit just prior to merger.
Modeling Flows Around Merging Black Hole Binaries
van Meter, James R; Miller, M Coleman; Reynolds, Christopher S; Centrella, Joan M; Baker, John G; Boggs, William D; Kelly, Bernard J; McWilliams, Sean T
2009-01-01
Coalescing massive black hole binaries are produced by the mergers of galaxies. The final stages of the black hole coalescence produce strong gravitational radiation that can be detected by the space-borne LISA. In cases where the black hole merger takes place in the presence of gas and magnetic fields, various types of electromagnetic signals may also be produced. Modeling such electromagnetic counterparts of the final merger requires evolving the behavior of both gas and fields in the strong-field regions around the black holes. We have taken a step towards solving this problem by mapping the flow of pressureless matter in the dynamic, 3-D general relativistic spacetime around the merging black holes. We find qualitative differences in collision and outflow speeds, including a signature of the merger when the net angular momentum of the matter is low, between the results from single and binary black holes, and between nonrotating and rotating holes in binaries. If future magnetohydrodynamic results confirm ...
McWilliams, Sean T.; Lang, Ryan N.; Baker, John G.; Thorpe, James Ira
2011-01-01
We investigate the capability of LISA to measure the sky position of equal-mass, nonspinning black hole binaries, including for the first time the entire inspiral-merger-ringdown signal, the effect of the LISA orbits, and the complete three-channel LISA response. For an ensemble of systems near the peak of LISA's sensitivity band, with total rest mass of 2 x l0(exp 6) Stellar Mass at a redshift of z = 1 with random orientations and sky positions, we find median sky localization errors of approximately approx. 3 arcminutes. This is comparable to the field of view of powerful electromagnetic telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telescope, that could be used to search for electromagnetic signals associated with merging black holes. We investigate the way in which parameter errors decrease with measurement time, focusing specifically on the additional information provided during the merger-ringdown segment of the signal. We find that this information improves all parameter estimates directly, rather than through diminishing correlations with any subset of well-determined parameters.
McWilliams, Sean T; Baker, John G; Thorpe, James Ira
2011-01-01
We investigate the capability of LISA to measure the sky position of equal-mass, nonspinning black hole binaries, combining for the first time the entire inspiral-merger-ringdown signal, the effect of the LISA orbits, and the complete three-channel LISA response. We consider an ensemble of systems near the peak of LISA's sensitivity band, with total rest mass of 2\\times10^6 M\\odot, a redshift of z = 1, and randomly chosen orientations and sky positions. We find median sky localization errors of approximately \\sim3 arcminutes. This is comparable to the field of view of powerful electromagnetic telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telescope, that could be used to search for electromagnetic signals associated with merging massive black holes. We investigate the way in which parameter errors decrease with measurement time, focusing specifically on the additional information provided during the merger-ringdown segment of the signal. We find that this information improves all parameter estimates directly, rathe...
Binary black hole merger in the extreme-mass-ratio limit: a multipolar analysis
Bernuzzi, Sebastiano
2010-01-01
Building up on previous work, we present a new calculation of the gravitational wave (GW) emission generated during the transition from quasi-circular inspiral to plunge, merger and ringdown by a binary system of nonspinning black holes, of masses $m_1$ and $m_2$, in the extreme mass ratio limit, $m_1 m_2\\ll(m_1+m_2)^2$. The relative dynamics of the system is computed {\\it without making any adiabatic approximation} by using an effective one body (EOB) description, namely by representing the binary by an effective particle of mass $\\mu=m_1 m_2/(m_1+m_2)$ moving in a (quasi-)Schwarzschild background of mass $M=m_1+m_2$ and submitted to an $\\O(\
Impact of Mergers on USA Parameter Estimation for Nonspinning Black Hole Binaries
McWilliams, Sean T.; Thorpe, James Ira; Baker, John G.; Kelly, Bernard J.
2011-01-01
We investigate the precision with which the parameters describing the characteristics and location of nonspinning black hole binaries can be measured with the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). By using complete waveforms including the inspiral, merger and ringdown portions of the signals, we find that LISA will have far greater precision than previous estimates for nonspinning mergers that ignored the merger and ringdown. Our analysis covers nonspinning waveforms with moderate mass ratios, q > or = 1/10, and total masses 10(exp 5) time observations, the later parts of the signal lead to significant improvements in sky-position precision in the last hours and even the final minutes of observation. For comparable mass systems with total mass M/M_{Sun} = approx. 10(exp 6), we find that the increased precision resulting from including the merger is comparable to the increase in signal-to-noise ratio. For the most precise systems under investigation, half can be localized to within O(10 arcmin), and 18% can be localized to within O(1 arcmin).
Impact of mergers on LISA parameter estimation for nonspinning black hole binaries
McWilliams, Sean T; Baker, John G; Kelly, Bernard J
2009-01-01
We investigate the precision with which the parameters describing the characteristics and location of nonspinning black hole binaries can be measured with the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). By using complete waveforms including the inspiral, merger and ringdown portions of the signals, we find that LISA will have far greater precision than previous estimates for nonspinning mergers that ignored the merger and ringdown. Our analysis covers nonspinning waveforms with moderate mass ratios, q >= 1/10, and total masses 10^5 < M/M_{Sun} < 10^7. We compare the parameter uncertainties using the Fisher matrix formalism, and establish the significance of mass asymmetry and higher-order content to the predicted parameter uncertainties resulting from inclusion of the merger. In real-time observations, the later parts of the signal lead to significant improvements in sky-position precision in the last hours and even the final minutes of observation. For comparable mass systems with total mass M/M_{Sun} =...
Rapid and Bright Stellar-mass Binary Black Hole Mergers in Active Galactic Nuclei
Bartos, Imre; Haiman, Zoltán; Márka, Szabolcs
2016-01-01
Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, LIGO, found direct evidence of double black hole binaries emitting gravitational waves. Galactic nuclei are expected to harbor the densest population of stellar-mass black holes, accounting for as much as ~2% of the mass of the nuclear stellar cluster. A significant fraction (~30%) of these black holes can reside in binaries. We examine the fate of the black hole binaries in active galactic nuclei, which get trapped in the inner region of the accretion disk around the central supermassive black hole. We show that binary black holes can migrate into and then rapidly merge within the disk well within a Salpeter time. The binaries may also accrete a significant amount of gas from the disk, well above the Eddington rate. This could lead to detectable X-ray or gamma-ray emission, but would require hyper-Eddington accretion with a few % radiative efficiency, comparable to thin disks. We discuss implications for gravitational wave observations and black hole popul...
Mergers of Non-spinning Black-hole Binaries: Gravitational Radiation Characteristics
Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J.; McWilliams, Sean T.; vanMeter, James R.
2008-01-01
We present a detailed descriptive analysis of the gravitational radiation from black-hole binary mergers of non-spinning black holes, based on numerical simulations of systems varying from equal-mass to a 6:1 mass ratio. Our primary goal is to present relatively complete information about the waveforms, including all the leading multipolar components, to interested researchers. In our analysis, we pursue the simplest physical description of the dominant features in the radiation, providing an interpretation of the waveforms in terms of an implicit rotating source. This interpretation applies uniformly to the full wavetrain, from inspiral through ringdown. We emphasize strong relationships among the l = m modes that persist through the full wavetrain. Exploring the structure of the waveforms in more detail, we conduct detailed analytic fitting of the late-time frequency evolution, identifying a key quantitative feature shared by the l = m modes among all mass-ratios. We identify relationships, with a simple interpretation in terms of the implicit rotating source, among the evolution of frequency and amplitude, which hold for the late-time radiation. These detailed relationships provide sufficient information about the late-time radiation to yield a predictive model for the late-time waveforms, an alternative to the common practice of modeling by a sum of quasinormal mode overtones. We demonstrate an application of this in a new effective-one-body-based analytic waveform model.
Mergers of black-hole binaries with aligned spins: Waveform characteristics
Kelly, Bernard J.; Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; McWilliams, Sean T.; Centrella, Joan
2011-01-01
We conduct a descriptive analysis of the multipolar structure of gravitational-radiation waveforms from equal-mass aligned-spin mergers, following an approach first presented in the complementary context of nonspinning black holes of varying mass ratio [J.G. Baker et al. Phys. Rev. D 78 044046 (2008)]. We find that, as with the nonspinning mergers, the dominant waveform mode phases evolve together in lock-step through inspiral and merger, supporting the previous waveform description in terms ...
Accretion and Orbital Inspiral in Gas-assisted Supermassive Black Hole Binary Mergers
Rafikov, Roman R.
2016-08-01
Many galaxies are expected to harbor binary supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in their centers. Their interaction with the surrounding gas results in the accretion and exchange of angular momentum via tidal torques, facilitating binary inspiral. Here, we explore the non-trivial coupling between these two processes and analyze how the global properties of externally supplied circumbinary disks depend on the binary accretion rate. By formulating our results in terms of the angular momentum flux driven by internal stresses, we come up with a very simple classification of the possible global disk structures, which differ from the standard constant \\dot{M} accretion disk solution. The suppression of accretion by the binary tides, leading to a significant mass accumulation in the inner disk, accelerates binary inspiral. We show that once the disk region strongly perturbed by the viscously transmitted tidal torque exceeds the binary semimajor axis, the binary can merge in less than its mass-doubling time due to accretion. Thus, unlike the inspirals driven by stellar scattering, the gas-assisted merger can occur even if the binary is embedded in a relatively low-mass disk (lower than its own mass). This is important for resolving the “last parsec” problem for SMBH binaries and understanding powerful gravitational wave sources in the universe. We argue that the enhancement of accretion by the binary found in some recent simulations cannot persist for a long time and should not affect the long-term orbital inspiral. We also review existing simulations of SMBH binary–disk coupling and propose a numerical setup which is particularly well suited to verifying our theoretical predictions.
Eccentric binary black-hole mergers: The transition from inspiral to plunge in general relativity
We study the transition from inspiral to plunge in general relativity by computing gravitational waveforms of nonspinning, equal-mass black-hole binaries. We consider three sequences of simulations, starting with a quasicircular inspiral completing 1.5, 2.3 and 9.6 orbits, respectively, prior to coalescence of the holes. For each sequence, the binding energy of the system is kept constant and the orbital angular momentum is progressively reduced, producing orbits of increasing eccentricity and eventually a head-on collision. We analyze in detail the radiation of energy and angular momentum in gravitational waves, the contribution of different multipolar components and the final spin of the remnant, comparing numerical predictions with the post-Newtonian approximation and with extrapolations of point-particle results. We find that the motion transitions from inspiral to plunge when the orbital angular momentum L=Lcrit≅0.8M2. For Lcrit the radiated energy drops very rapidly. Orbits with L≅Lcrit produce our largest dimensionless Kerr parameter for the remnant, j=J/M2≅0.724±0.13 (to be compared with the Kerr parameter j≅0.69 resulting from quasicircular inspirals). This value is in good agreement with the value of 0.72 reported in [I. Hinder, B. Vaishnav, F. Herrmann, D. Shoemaker, and P. Laguna, Phys. Rev. D 77, 081502 (2008).]. These conclusions are quite insensitive to the initial separation of the holes, and they can be understood by extrapolating point-particle results. Generalizing a model recently proposed by Buonanno, Kidder and Lehner [A. Buonanno, L. E. Kidder, and L. Lehner, Phys. Rev. D 77, 026004 (2008).] to eccentric binaries, we conjecture that (1) j≅0.724 is close to the maximal Kerr parameter that can be obtained by any merger of nonspinning holes, and (2) no binary merger (even if the binary members are extremal Kerr black holes with spins aligned to the orbital angular momentum, and the inspiral is highly eccentric) can violate the cosmic
The Rate of Binary Black Hole Mergers Inferred from Advanced LIGO Observations Surrounding GW150914
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2016-01-01
A transient gravitational-wave signal was identified in the twin Advanced LIGO detectors on September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC (GW150914). To assess the implications of this discovery, the detectors remained in operation with unchanged configurations over a period of 39 d around the time of the signal. A search of 16 days of simultaneous two-detector observational data found GW150914 to have a false alarm probability (FAP) of $2 \\times 10^{-7}$. Parameter estimation followup on this trigger identifies its source as a binary black hole (BBH) merger with component masses $(m_1, m_2) = 36^{+5}_{-4}, 29^{+4}_{-4} \\, M_\\odot$ at redshift $z = 0.09^{+0.03}_{-0.04}$. Here we report on the constraints these observations place on the rate of BBH coalescences. Considering only GW150914, assuming that all BBHs in the universe have the same masses and spins as this event, imposing a false alarm threshold of 1 per 100 years, and assuming that the BBH merger rate is constant in the comoving frame, we infer a 90% credible r...
Modeling Kicks from the Merger of Generic Black-hole Binaries
Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J.; McWilliams, Sean T.; Miller, M. Coleman; vanMeter, James R.
2008-01-01
Recent numerical relativistic results demonstrate that the merger of comparable-mass spinning black holes has a maximum "recoil kick" of up to approx. 4000 km/s. However the scaling of these recoil velocities with mass ratio is poorly understood. We present new runs showing that the maximum possible kick parallel to the orbital axis does not scale as approx. eta(sup 2) (where eta is the symmetric mass ratio), as previously proposed, but is more consistent with approx. eta(sup 3). We discuss the effect of this dependence on galactic ejection scenarios and retention of intermediate-mass black holes in globular clusters. S
Modeling kicks from the merger of generic black-hole binaries
Baker, John G; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J; McWilliams, Sean T; Miller, M Coleman; van Meter, James R
2008-01-01
Recent numerical relativistic results demonstrate that the merger of comparable-mass spinning black holes has a maximum ``recoil kick'' of up to $\\sim 4000 \\kms$. However the scaling of these recoil velocities with mass ratio is poorly understood. We present new runs showing that the maximum possible kick parallel to the orbital axis does not scale as $\\sim\\eta^2$ (where $\\eta$ is the symmetric mass ratio), as previously proposed, but is more consistent with $\\sim\\eta^3$. We discuss the effect of this dependence on galactic ejection scenarios and retention of intermediate-mass black holes in globular clusters.
Binary Mergers and Growth of Black Holes in Dense Star Clusters
O'Leary, R M; Fregeau, J M; Ivanova, N; O'Shaughnessy, R; Leary, Ryan M. O'; Rasio, Frederic A.; Fregeau, John M.; Ivanova, Natalia; Shaughnessy, Richard O'
2006-01-01
We model the dynamical evolution of primordial black holes (BHs) in dense star clusters using a simplified treatment of stellar dynamics in which the BHs are assumed to remain concentrated in an inner core, completely decoupled from the background stars. Dynamical interactions involving BH binaries are computed exactly and are generated according to a Monte Carlo prescription. Recoil and ejections lead to complete evaporation of the BH core on a timescale ~10^9 yr for typical globular cluster parameters. Orbital decay driven by gravitational radiation can make binaries merge and, in some cases, successive mergers can lead to significant BH growth. Our highly simplified treatment of the cluster dynamics allows us to study a large number of models and to compute statistical distributions of outcomes, such as the probability of massive BH growth and retention in a cluster. We find that, in most models, there is a significant probability (~20-80%) of BH growth with final masses > 100 M_{\\sun}. In at least one cas...
The ringdown phase following a binary black hole merger is usually assumed to be well described by a linear superposition of complex exponentials (quasinormal modes). In the strong-field conditions typical of a binary black hole merger, nonlinear effects may produce mode coupling. Artificial mode coupling can also be induced by the black hole's rotation, if the radiation field is expanded in terms of spin-weighted spherical harmonics (rather than spin-weighted spheroidal harmonics). Observing deviations from the predictions of linear black hole perturbation theory requires optimal fitting techniques to extract ringdown parameters from numerical waveforms, which are inevitably affected by numerical error. So far, nonlinear least-squares fitting methods have been used as the standard workhorse to extract frequencies from ringdown waveforms. These methods are known not to be optimal for estimating parameters of complex exponentials. Furthermore, different fitting methods have different performance in the presence of noise. The main purpose of this paper is to introduce the gravitational wave community to modern variations of a linear parameter estimation technique first devised in 1795 by Prony: the Kumaresan-Tufts and matrix pencil methods. Using ''test'' damped sinusoidal signals in Gaussian white noise we illustrate the advantages of these methods, showing that they have variance and bias at least comparable to standard nonlinear least-squares techniques. Then we compare the performance of different methods on unequal-mass binary black hole merger waveforms. The methods we discuss should be useful both theoretically (to monitor errors and search for nonlinearities in numerical relativity simulations) and experimentally (for parameter estimation from ringdown signals after a gravitational wave detection)
Binary black hole merger in the extreme-mass-ratio limit: A multipolar analysis
Building up on previous work, we present a new calculation of the gravitational wave emission generated during the transition from quasicircular inspiral to plunge, merger, and ringdown by a binary system of nonspinning black holes, of masses m1 and m2, in the extreme mass ratio limit, m1m21+m2)2. The relative dynamics of the system is computed without making any adiabatic approximation by using an effective one body (EOB) description, namely, by representing the binary by an effective particle of mass μ=m1m2/(m1+m2) moving in a (quasi-)Schwarzschild background of mass M=m1+m2 and submitted to an O(ν) 5PN-resummed analytical radiation reaction force, with ν=μ/M. The gravitational wave emission is calculated via a multipolar Regge-Wheeler-Zerilli-type perturbative approach (valid in the limit ν-2,10-3,10-4}, and we compute the multipolar waveform up to l=8. We estimate energy and angular momentum losses during the quasiuniversal and quasigeodesic part of the plunge phase and we analyze the structure of the ringdown. We calculate the gravitational recoil, or 'kick', imparted to the merger remnant by the gravitational wave emission and we emphasize the importance of higher multipoles to get a final value of the recoil v/(cν2)=0.0446. We finally show that there is an excellent fractional agreement (∼10-3) (even during the plunge) between the 5PN EOB analytically resummed radiation reaction flux and the numerically computed gravitational wave angular momentum flux. This is a further confirmation of the aptitude of the EOB formalism to accurately model extreme-mass-ratio inspirals, as needed for the future space-based LISA gravitational wave detector.
Modeling kicks from the merger of non-precessing black-hole binaries
Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J.; McWilliams, Sean T.; Miller, M. Coleman; van Meter, James R.
2007-01-01
Several groups have recently computed the gravitational radiation recoil produced by the merger of two spinning black holes. The results suggest that spin can be the dominant contributor to the kick, with reported recoil speeds of hundreds to even thousands of kilometers per second. The parameter space of spin kicks is large, however, and it is ultimately desirable to have a simple formula that gives the approximate magnitude of the kick given a mass ratio, spin magnitudes, and spin orientati...
Mergers of black-hole binaries with aligned spins: Waveform characteristics
Kelly, Bernard J; Boggs, William D; McWilliams, Sean T; Centrella, Joan
2011-01-01
We conduct a descriptive analysis of the multipolar structure of gravitational-radiation waveforms from equal-mass aligned-spin mergers, following an approach first presented in the complementary context of nonspinning black holes of varying mass ratio [Baker et al., Phys. Rev. D 78:044046 (2008)]. We find that, as with the nonspinning mergers, the dominant waveform mode phases evolve together in lock-step through inspiral and merger, supporting the previous waveform description in terms of an adiabatically rigid rotator driving gravitational-wave emission -- an implicit rotating source (IRS). We further apply the late-time merger-ringdown model for the rotational frequency introduced in Baker et al. (2008), along with an improved amplitude model appropriate for the dominant (2,+/- 2) modes. This provides a quantitative description of the merger-ringdown waveforms, and suggests that the major features of these waveforms can be described with reference only to the intrinsic parameters associated with the state...
Orbital eccentricities in primordial black holes binaries
Cholis, Ilias; Kovetz, Ely D.; Ali-Haïmoud, Yacine; Bird, Simeon; Kamionkowski, Marc; Muñoz, Julian B.; Raccanelli, Alvise
2016-01-01
It was recently suggested that the merger of $\\sim30\\,M_\\odot$ primordial black holes (PBHs) may provide a significant number of events in gravitational-wave observatories over the next decade, if they make up an appreciable fraction of the dark matter. Here we show that measurement of the eccentricities of the inspiralling binary black holes can be used to distinguish these binaries from those produced by more traditional astrophysical mechanisms. These PBH binaries are formed on highly ecce...
Rapid merger of binary primordial black holes: An implication for GW150914
Hayasaki, Kimitake; Takahashi, Keitaro; Sendouda, Yuuiti; Nagataki, Shigehiro
2016-08-01
We propose a new scenario for the evolution of the binaries of primordial black holes (PBH). We consider dynamical friction by ambient dark matter, scattering of dark matter particles with a highly eccentric orbit besides the standard two-body relaxation process to refill the loss cone, and interaction between the binary and a circumbinary disk, assuming that PBHs do not constitute the bulk of dark matter. Binary PBHs lose the energy and angular momentum by these processes, which could be sufficiently efficient for a typical configuration. Such a binary coalesces due to the gravitational wave emission on a time scale much shorter than the age of the universe. We estimate the density parameter of the resultant gravitational wave background. Astrophysical implications concerning the formation of intermediate-mass to supermassive black holes is also discussed.
Rapid merger of binary primordial black holes: An implication for GW150914
Hayasaki, Kimitake; Takahashi, Keitaro; Sendouda, Yuuiti; Nagataki, Shigehiro
2016-07-01
We propose a new scenario for the evolution of the binaries of primordial black holes (PBH). We consider dynamical friction by ambient dark matter, scattering of dark matter particles with a highly eccentric orbit besides the standard two-body relaxation process to refill the loss cone, and interaction between the binary and a circumbinary disk, assuming that PBHs do not constitute the bulk of dark matter. Binary PBHs lose the energy and angular momentum by these processes, which could be sufficiently efficient for a typical configuration. Such a binary coalesces due to the gravitational wave emission on a time scale much shorter than the age of the universe. We estimate the density parameter of the resultant gravitational wave background. Astrophysical implications concerning the formation of intermediate-mass to supermassive black holes is also discussed.
The basic physics of the binary black hole merger GW150914
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2016-01-01
The first direct gravitational-wave detection was made by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory on September 14, 2015. The GW150914 signal was strong enough to be apparent, without using any waveform model, in the filtered detector strain data. Here those features of the signal visible in these data are used, along with only such concepts from Newtonian and General Relativity as are accessible to anyone with a general physics background. The simple analysis presented here is consistent with the fully general-relativistic analyses published elsewhere, in showing that the signal was produced by the inspiral and subsequent merger of two black holes. The black holes were each of approximately 35 Msun, still orbited each other as close as 350 km apart and subsequently merged to form a single black hole. Similar reasoning, directly from the data, is used to roughly estimate how far these black holes were from the Earth, and the energy that they radiated in gravitational waves.
Nakamura, Takashi; Nakano, Hiroyuki; Tanaka, Takahiro
2016-02-01
Recent population synthesis simulations of Pop III stars suggest that the event rate of coalescence of ˜30 M⊙-30 M⊙ binary black holes can be high enough for the detection by the second generation gravitational wave detectors. The frequencies of chirp signal as well as quasinormal modes are near the best sensitivity of these detectors so that it would be possible to confirm Einstein's general relativity. Using the WKB method, we suggest that for the typical value of spin parameter a /M ˜0.7 from numerical relativity results of the coalescence of binary black holes, the strong gravity of the black hole space-time at around the radius 2 M , which is just ˜1.17 times the event horizon radius, would be confirmed as predicted by general relativity. The expected event rate with the signal-to-noise ratio >35 needed for the determination of the quasinormal mode frequency with a meaningful accuracy is 0.17 -7.2 events yr-1 [(SFRp/(1 0-2.5M⊙ yr-1 Mpc-3)) .([fb/(1 +fb)]/0.33 ) ], where SFRp and fb are the peak value of the Pop III star formation rate and the fraction of binaries, respectively. As for the possible optical counterpart, if the merged black hole of mass M ˜60 M⊙ is in the interstellar matter with n ˜100 cm-3 and the proper motion of the black hole is ˜1 km s-1 , the luminosity is ˜1040 erg s-1 which can be detected up to ˜300 Mpc , for example, by Subaru-HSC and LSST with the limiting magnitude 26.
Binary pairs of supermassive black holes - Formation in merging galaxies
A process in which supermassive binary blackholes are formed in nuclei of supergiant galaxies due to galaxy mergers is examined. There is growing evidence that mergers of galaxies are common and that supermassive black holes in center of galaxies are also common. Consequently, it is expected that binary black holes should arise in connection with galaxy mergers. The merger process in a galaxy modeled after M87 is considered. The capture probability of a companion is derived as a function of its mass. Assuming a correlation between the galaxy mass and the blackholes mass, the expected mass ratio in binary black holes is calculated. The binary black holes formed in this process are long lived, surviving longer than the Hubble time unless they are perturbed by black holes from successive mergers. The properties of these binaries agree with Gaskell's (1988) observational work on quasars and its interpretation in terms of binary black holes. 39 refs
Relativistic mergers of black hole binaries have large, similar masses, low spins and are circular
Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Chen, Xian
2016-05-01
Gravitational waves are a prediction of general relativity, and with ground-based detectors now running in their advanced configuration, we will soon be able to measure them directly for the first time. Binaries of stellar-mass black holes are among the most interesting sources for these detectors. Unfortunately, the many different parameters associated with the problem make it difficult to promptly produce a large set of waveforms for the search in the data stream. To reduce the number of templates to develop, one must restrict some of the physical parameters to a certain range of values predicted by either (electromagnetic) observations or theoretical modelling. In this work, we show that `hyperstellar' black holes (HSBs) with masses 30 ≲ MBH/M⊙ ≲ 100, i.e black holes significantly larger than the nominal 10 M⊙, will have an associated low value for the spin, i.e. a similar masses. We also address the distribution of the eccentricities of HSB binaries in dense stellar systems using a large suite of three-body scattering experiments that include binary-single interactions and long-lived hierarchical systems with a highly accurate integrator, including relativistic corrections up to O(1/c^5). We find that most sources in the detector band will have nearly zero eccentricities. This correlation between large, similar masses, low spin and low eccentricity will help to accelerate the searches for gravitational-wave signals.
Accretion and Orbital Inspiral in Gas-Assisted Supermassive Black Hole Binary Mergers
Rafikov, Roman R
2016-01-01
Many galaxies are expected to harbor binary supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in their centers. Their interaction with the surrounding gas results in accretion and exchange of angular momentum via tidal torques, facilitating binary inspiral. Here we explore the non-trivial coupling between these two processes and analyze how the global properties of externally supplied circumbinary disks depend on the binary accretion rate. By formulating our results in terms of the angular momentum flux driven by internal stresses, we come up with a very simple classification of the possible global disk structures, which differ from the standard constant $\\dot M$ accretion disk solution. Suppression of accretion by the binary tides, leading to a significant mass accumulation in the inner disk, accelerates binary inspiral. We show that once the disk region strongly perturbed by the viscously transmitted tidal torque exceeds the binary semi-major axis, the binary can merge in less than its mass-doubling time due to accretion. T...
Modeling kicks from the merger of generic black-hole binaries
Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J.; McWilliams, Sean T.; Miller, M. Coleman; van Meter, James R.
2008-01-01
Recent numerical relativistic results demonstrate that the merger of comparable-mass spinning black holes has a maximum ``recoil kick'' of up to $\\sim 4000 \\kms$. However the scaling of these recoil velocities with mass ratio is poorly understood. We present new runs showing that the maximum possible kick perpendicular to the orbital plane does not scale as $\\sim\\eta^2$ (where $\\eta$ is the symmetric mass ratio), as previously proposed, but is more consistent with $\\sim\\eta^3$, at least for s...
Three-dimensional simulations for the merger of binary neutron stars are performed in the framework of full general relativity. We pay particular attention to the black hole formation case and to the resulting mass of the surrounding disk for exploring the possibility for formation of the central engine of short-duration gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs). Hybrid equations of state are adopted mimicking realistic, stiff nuclear equations of state (EOSs), for which the maximum allowed gravitational mass of cold and spherical neutron stars, Msph, is larger than 2M·. Such stiff EOSs are adopted motivated by the recent possible discovery of a heavy neutron star of mass ∼2.1±0.2M·. For the simulations, we focus on binary neutron stars of the ADM mass M > or approx. 2.6M·. For an ADM mass larger than the threshold mass Mthr, the merger results in prompt formation of a black hole irrespective of the mass ratio QM with 0.65 M≤1. The value of Mthr depends on the EOSs and is approximately written as 1.3-1.35Msph for the chosen EOSs. For the black hole formation case, we evolve the space-time using a black hole excision technique and determine the mass of a quasistationary disk surrounding the black hole. The disk mass steeply increases with decreasing the value of QM for given ADM mass and EOS. This suggests that a merger with small value of QM is a candidate for producing central engine of SGRBs. For Mthr, the outcome is a hypermassive neutron star of a large ellipticity. Because of the nonaxisymmetry, angular momentum is transported outward. If the hypermassive neutron star collapses to a black hole after the long-term angular momentum transport, the disk mass may be (> or approx. 0.01M· irrespective of QM. Gravitational waves are computed in terms of a gauge-invariant wave extraction technique. In the formation of the hypermassive neutron star, quasiperiodic gravitational waves of frequency between 3 and 3.5 kHz are emitted irrespective of EOSs. The effective amplitude of
Modeling kicks from the merger of non-precessing black-hole binaries
Baker, J G; Centrella, J; Kelly, B J; McWilliams, S T; Miller, M C; Van Meter, J R; Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J.; Williams, Sean T. Mc; Meter, James R. van
2007-01-01
Several groups have recently computed the gravitational radiation recoil produced by the merger of two spinning black holes. The results suggest that spin can be the dominant contributor to the kick, with reported recoil speeds of hundreds to even thousands of kilometers per second. The parameter space of spin kicks is large, however, and it is ultimately desirable to have a simple formula that gives the approximate magnitude of the kick given a mass ratio, spin magnitudes, and spin orientations. As a step toward this goal, we perform a systematic study of the recoil speeds from mergers of black holes with mass ratio $q\\equiv m_1/m_2=2/3$ and dimensionless spin parameters of $a_1/m_1$ and $a_2/m_2$ equal to 0 or 0.2, with directions aligned or anti-aligned with the orbital angular momentum. We also run an equal-mass $a_1/m_1=-a_2/m_2=0.2$ case, and find good agreement with previous results. We find that, for currently reported kicks from aligned or anti-aligned spins, a simple kick formula inspired by post-Ne...
Relativistic mergers of black hole binaries have large, similar masses, low spins and are circular
Amaro-Seoane, Pau
2015-01-01
Gravitational waves are a prediction of general relativity, and with ground-based detectors now running in their advanced configuration, we will soon be able to measure them directly for the first time. Binaries of stellar-mass black holes are among the most interesting sources for these detectors. Unfortunately, the many different parameters associated with the problem make it difficult to promptly produce a large set of waveforms for the search in the data stream. To reduce the number of templates to develop, and hence speed up the search, one must restrict some of the physical parameters to a certain range of values predicted by either (electromagnetic) observations or theoretical modeling. This allows one to avoid the need to blindly cover the whole parameter space. In this work we show that "hyperstellar" black holes (HSBs) with masses $30 \\lesssim M_{\\rm BH}/M_{\\odot} \\lesssim 100$, i.e black holes significantly larger than the nominal $10\\,M_{\\odot}$, will have an associated low value for the spin, i.e...
Gravitational waves from black-hole mergers
Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan M.; Kelly, Bernard J.; McWilliams, Sean T.; van Meter, James R.
2007-01-01
Coalescing black-hole binaries are expected to be the strongest sources of gravitational waves for ground-based interferometers as well as the space-based interferometer LISA. Recent progress in numerical relativity now makes it possible to calculate the waveforms from the strong-field dynamical merger and is revolutionizing our understanding of these systems. We review these dramatic developments, emphasizing applications to issues in gravitational wave observations. These new capabilities a...
We simulate mergers between galaxies containing collisionally relaxed nuclei around massive black holes (MBHs). Our galaxies contain four mass groups, representative of old stellar populations; a primary goal is to understand the distribution of stellar-mass black holes (BHs) after the merger. Mergers are followed using direct-summation N-body simulations, assuming a mass ratio of 1:3 and two different orbits. Evolution of the binary MBH is followed until its separation has shrunk by a factor of 20 below the hard-binary separation. During the galaxy merger, large cores are carved out in the stellar distribution, with radii several times the influence radius of the massive binary. Much of the pre-existing mass segregation is erased during this phase. We follow the evolution of the merged galaxies for approximately three central relaxation times after coalescence of the massive binary; both standard and top-heavy mass functions are considered. The cores that were formed in the stellar distribution persist, and the distribution of the stellar-mass BHs evolves against this essentially fixed background. Even after one central relaxation time, these models look very different from the relaxed, multi-mass models that are often assumed to describe the distribution of stars and stellar remnants near a massive BH. While the stellar BHs do form a cusp on roughly a relaxation timescale, the BH density can be much smaller than in those models. We discuss the implications of our results for the extreme-mass-ratio inspiral problem and for the existence of Bahcall-Wolf cusps.
Binary black holes' effects on electromagnetic fields.
Palenzuela, Carlos; Anderson, Matthew; Lehner, Luis; Liebling, Steven L; Neilsen, David
2009-08-21
In addition to producing gravitational waves, the dynamics of a binary black hole system could induce emission of electromagnetic radiation by affecting the behavior of plasmas and electromagnetic fields in their vicinity. We here study how the electromagnetic fields are affected by a pair of orbiting black holes through the merger. In particular, we show how the binary's dynamics induce a variability in possible electromagnetically induced emissions as well as a possible enhancement of electromagnetic fields during the late-merge and merger epochs. These time dependent features will likely leave their imprint in processes generating detectable emissions and can be exploited in the detection of electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves. PMID:19792706
Belloni, T M
2016-01-01
The last two decades have seen a great improvement in our understand- ing of the complex phenomenology observed in transient black-hole binary systems, especially thanks to the activity of the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer satellite, com- plemented by observations from many other X-ray observatories and ground-based radio, optical and infrared facilities. Accretion alone cannot describe accurately the intricate behavior associated with black-hole transients and it is now clear that the role played by different kinds of (often massive) outflows seen at different phases of the outburst evolution of these systems is as fundamental as the one played by the accretion process itself. The spectral-timing states originally identified in the X-rays and fundamentally based on the observed effect of accretion, have acquired new importance as they now allow to describe within a coherent picture the phenomenology observed at other wave- length, where the effects of ejection processes are most evident. With a particular focu...
Massive Black Hole Binary Evolution
Merritt David
2005-11-01
Full Text Available Coalescence of binary supermassive black holes (SBHs would constitute the strongest sources of gravitational waves to be observed by LISA. While the formation of binary SBHs during galaxy mergers is almost inevitable, coalescence requires that the separation between binary components first drop by a few orders of magnitude, due presumably to interaction of the binary with stars and gas in a galactic nucleus. This article reviews the observational evidence for binary SBHs and discusses how they would evolve. No completely convincing case of a bound, binary SBH has yet been found, although a handful of systems (e.g. interacting galaxies; remnants of galaxy mergers are now believed to contain two SBHs at projected separations of <~ 1kpc. N-body studies of binary evolution in gas-free galaxies have reached large enough particle numbers to reproduce the slow, “diffusive” refilling of the binary’s loss cone that is believed to characterize binary evolution in real galactic nuclei. While some of the results of these simulations - e.g. the binary hardening rate and eccentricity evolution - are strongly N-dependent, others - e.g. the “damage” inflicted by the binary on the nucleus - are not. Luminous early-type galaxies often exhibit depleted cores with masses of ~ 1-2 times the mass of their nuclear SBHs, consistent with the predictions of the binary model. Studies of the interaction of massive binaries with gas are still in their infancy, although much progress is expected in the near future. Binary coalescence has a large influence on the spins of SBHs, even for mass ratios as extreme as 10:1, and evidence of spin-flips may have been observed.
Reaction of Accretion Disks to Abrupt Mass Loss During Binary Black Hole Merger
O'Neill, Sean M; Bogdanovic, Tamara; Reynolds, Christopher S; Schnittman, Jeremy
2008-01-01
The association of an electromagnetic signal with the merger of a pair of supermassive black holes would have many important implications. For example, it would provide new information about gas and magnetic field interactions in dynamical spacetimes as well as a combination of redshift and luminosity distance that would enable precise cosmological tests. A proposal first made by Bode & Phinney (2007) is that because radiation of gravitational waves during the final inspiral and merger of the holes is abrupt and decreases the mass of the central object by a few percent, there will be waves in the disk that can steepen into shocks and thus increase the disk luminosity in a characteristic way. We evaluate this process analytically and numerically. We find that shocks only occur when the fractional mass loss exceeds the half-thickness (h/r) of the disk, hence significant energy release only occurs for geometrically thin disks which are thus at low Eddington ratios. This strongly limits the effective energy r...
Theoretical Physics Implications of the Binary Black-Hole Merger GW150914
Yunes, Nicolas; Pretorius, Frans
2016-01-01
The gravitational-wave observation GW150914 by Advanced LIGO provides the first opportunity to learn about physics in the extreme gravity of coalescing binary black holes. The LIGO/Virgo collaboration has verified that this observation is consistent with General Relativity, constraining the presence of parametric anomalies in the signal. This paper expands this analysis to a larger class of anomalies, highlighting the inferences that can be drawn on non-standard theoretical physics mechanisms that would affect the signal. We find that GW150914 constrains a plethora of mechanisms associated with the generation and propagation of gravitational waves, including the activation of scalar fields, gravitational leakage into large extra dimensions, the variability of Newton's constant, the speed of gravity, a modified dispersion relation, gravitational Lorentz violation and the strong equivalence principle. Unlike other observations that limit these mechanisms, GW150914 is a direct probe of dynamical strong-field gra...
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2016-01-01
Supplemental information for a Letter reporting the rate of binary black hole (BBH) coalescences inferred from 16 days of coincident Advanced LIGO observations surrounding the transient gravitational wave signal GW150914. In that work we reported various rate estimates whose 90\\% credible intervals fell in the range $2$--$600 \\, \\mathrm{Gpc}^{-3} \\mathrm{yr}^{-1}$. Here we give details of our method and computations, including information about our search pipelines, a derivation of our likelihood function for the analysis, a description of the astrophysical search trigger distribution expected from merging BBHs, details on our computational methods, a description of the effects and our model for calibration uncertainty, and an analytic method of estimating our detector sensitivity that is calibrated to our measurements.
Kalaghatgi, Chinmay; Arun, K G
2015-01-01
Searches for gravitational waves (GWs) from binary black holes using interferometric GW detectors require the construction of template banks for performing matched filtering while analyzing the data. Placement of templates over the parameter space of binaries, as well as coincidence tests of GW triggers from multiple detectors make use of the definition of a metric over the space of gravitational waveforms. Although recent searches have employed waveform templates coherently describing the inspiral, merger and ringdown (IMR) of the coalescence, the metric used in the template banks and coincidence tests was derived from post-Newtonian inspiral waveforms. In this paper, we compute the template-space metric of the IMR waveform family IMRPhenomB over the parameter space of masses and the effective spin parameter. We also propose a coordinate system, which is a modified version of post-Newtonian chirp time coordinates, in which the metric is slowly varying over the parameter space. The match function analytically...
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Straniero, N; Stratta, G; Strauss, N A; Strigin, S; Sturani, R; Stuver, A L; Summerscales, T Z; Sun, L; Sunil, S; Sutton, P J; Swinkels, B L; Szczepa'nczyk, M J; Tacca, M; Talukder, D; Tanner, D B; T'apai, M; Tarabrin, S P; Taracchini, A; Taylor, R; Theeg, T; Thirugnanasambandam, M P; Thomas, E G; Thomas, M; Thomas, P; Thorne, K A; Thrane, E; Tiwari, S; Tiwari, V; Tokmakov, K V; Toland, K; Tomlinson, C; Tonelli, M; Tornasi, Z; Torres, C V; Torrie, C I; T"oyr"a, D; Travasso, F; Traylor, G; Trifir`o, D; Tringali, M C; Trozzo, L; Tse, M; Turconi, M; Tuyenbayev, D; Ugolini, D; Unnikrishnan, C S; Urban, A L; Usman, S A; Vahlbruch, H; Vajente, G; Valdes, G; van Bakel, N; van Beuzekom, M; Brand, J F J van den; Broeck, C Van Den; Vander-Hyde, D C; van der Schaaf, L; van Heijningen, J V; van Veggel, A A; Vardaro, M; Vass, S; Vas'uth, M; Vaulin, R; Vecchio, A; Vedovato, G; Veitch, J; Veitch, P J; Venkateswara, K; Verkindt, D; Vetrano, F; Vicer'e, A; Vinciguerra, S; Vine, D J; Vinet, J -Y; Vitale, S; Vo, T; Vocca, H; Vorvick, C; Voss, D V; Vousden, W D; Vyatchanin, S P; Wade, A R; Wade, L E; Wade, M; Walker, M; Wallace, L; Walsh, S; Wang, G; Wang, H; Wang, M; Wang, X; Wang, Y; Ward, R L; Warner, J; Was, M; Weaver, B; Wei, L -W; Weinert, M; Weinstein, A J; Weiss, R; Wen, L; Wessels, P; Westphal, T; Wette, K; Whelan, J T; Whiting, B F; Williams, R D; Williamson, A R; Willis, J L; Willke, B; Wimmer, M H; Winkler, W; Wipf, C C; Wittel, H; Woan, G; Woehler, J; Worden, J; Wright, J L; Wu, D S; Wu, G; Yablon, J; Yam, W; Yamamoto, H; Yancey, C C; Yu, H; Yvert, M; zny, A Zadro; Zangrando, L; Zanolin, M; Zendri, J -P; Zevin, M; Zhang, L; Zhang, M; Zhang, Y; Zhao, C; Zhou, M; Zhou, Z; Zhu, X J; Zucker, M E; Zuraw, S E; Zweizig, J
2016-01-01
We report here the non-detection of gravitational waves from the merger of binary neutron star systems and neutron-star--black-hole systems during the first observing run of Advanced LIGO. In particular we searched for gravitational wave signals from binary neutron star systems with component masses $\\in [1,3] M_{\\odot}$ and component dimensionless spins $< 0.05$. We also searched for neutron-star--black-hole systems with the same neutron star parameters, black hole mass $\\in [2,99] M_{\\odot}$ and no restriction on the black hole spin magnitude. We assess the sensitivity of the two LIGO detectors to these systems, and find that they could have detected the merger of binary neutron star systems with component mass distributions of $1.35\\pm0.13 M_{\\odot}$ at a volume-weighted average distance of $\\sim$ 70Mpc, and for neutron-star--black-hole systems with neutron star masses of $1.4M_\\odot$ and black hole masses of at least $5M_\\odot$, a volume-weighted average distance of at least $\\sim$ 110Mpc. From this we...
Massive Binary Black Holes in the Cosmic Landscape
Colpi, M.; Dotti, M.
2009-01-01
Binary black holes occupy a special place in our quest for understanding the evolution of galaxies along cosmic history. If massive black holes grow at the center of (pre-)galactic structures that experience a sequence of merger episodes, then dual black holes form as inescapable outcome of galaxy assembly. But, if the black holes reach coalescence, then they become the loudest sources of gravitational waves ever in the universe. Nature seems to provide a pathway for the formation of these ex...
Supermassive Black Hole Binaries: The Search Continues
Bogdanovic, Tamara
2014-01-01
Gravitationally bound supermassive black hole binaries (SBHBs) are thought to be a natural product of galactic mergers and growth of the large scale structure in the universe. They however remain observationally elusive, thus raising a question about characteristic observational signatures associated with these systems. In this conference proceeding I discuss current theoretical understanding and latest advances and prospects in observational searches for SBHBs.
Numerical Relativity, Black Hole Mergers, and Gravitational Waves: Part II
Centrella, Joan
2012-01-01
This series of 3 lectures will present recent developments in numerical relativity, and their applications to simulating black hole mergers and computing the resulting gravitational waveforms. In this second lecture, we focus on simulations of black hole binary mergers. We hig hlight the instabilities that plagued the codes for many years, the r ecent breakthroughs that led to the first accurate simulations, and the current state of the art.
Massive Black Hole Binaries: Dynamical Evolution and Observational Signatures
M. Dotti
2012-01-01
Full Text Available The study of the dynamical evolution of massive black hole pairs in mergers is crucial in the context of a hierarchical galaxy formation scenario. The timescales for the formation and the coalescence of black hole binaries are still poorly constrained, resulting in large uncertainties in the expected rate of massive black hole binaries detectable in the electromagnetic and gravitational wave spectra. Here, we review the current theoretical understanding of the black hole pairing in galaxy mergers, with a particular attention to recent developments and open issues. We conclude with a review of the expected observational signatures of massive binaries and of the candidates discussed in literature to date.
Gravitational waves from black-hole mergers
Baker, John G; Centrella, Joan M; Kelly, Bernard J; McWilliams, Sean T; van Meter, James R
2007-01-01
Coalescing black-hole binaries are expected to be the strongest sources of gravitational waves for ground-based interferometers as well as the space-based interferometer LISA. Recent progress in numerical relativity now makes it possible to calculate the waveforms from the strong-field dynamical merger and is revolutionizing our understanding of these systems. We review these dramatic developments, emphasizing applications to issues in gravitational wave observations. These new capabilities also make possible accurate calculations of the recoil or kick imparted to the final remnant black hole when the merging components have unequal masses, or unequal or unaligned spins. We highlight recent work in this area, focusing on results of interest to astrophysics.
Abbott, B P
2016-01-01
In Advanced LIGO, detection and astrophysical source parameter estimation of the binary black hole merger GW150914 requires a calibrated estimate of the gravitational-wave strain sensed by the detectors. Producing an estimate from each detector's differential arm length control loop readout signals requires applying time domain filters, which are designed from a frequency domain model of the detector's gravitational-wave response. The gravitational-wave response model is determined by the detector's opto-mechanical response and the properties of its feedback control system. The measurements used to validate the model and characterize its uncertainty are derived primarily from a dedicated photon radiation pressure actuator, with cross-checks provided by optical and radio frequency references. We describe how the gravitational-wave readout signal is calibrated into equivalent gravitational-wave-induced strain and how the statistical uncertainties and systematic errors are assessed. Detector data collected over ...
Yamazaki, Ryo; Ohira, Yutaka
2016-01-01
Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor detected gamma-ray emission 0.4 sec after a binary black-hole merger event, GW150914. We show that the gamma-ray emission is caused by a relativistic outflow with Lorentz factor larger than 10. Subsequently debris outflow pushes ambient gas to form a shock, which is responsible for the afterglow synchrotron emission. We find that the fluxes of radio and optical afterglows increase from about $10^7$ sec to at least $\\sim10$ yr after the burst trigger. Further follow-up observations in the radio and optical/infrared bands are encouraged. Detection of afterglows will localize the sky position of the gravitational-wave and the gamma-ray emissions and it will support the physical association between them.
Black-hole Merger Simulations for LISA Science
Kelly, Bernard J.; Baker, John G.; vanMeter, James R.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan M.; McWilliams, Sean T.
2009-01-01
The strongest expected sources of gravitational waves in the LISA band are the mergers of massive black holes. LISA may observe these systems to high redshift, z>10, to uncover details of the origin of massive black holes, and of the relationship between black holes and their host structures, and structure formation itself. These signals arise from the final stage in the development of a massive black-hole binary emitting strong gravitational radiation that accelerates the system's inspiral toward merger. The strongest part of the signal, at the point of merger, carries much information about the system and provides a probe of extreme gravitational physics. Theoretical predictions for these merger signals rely on supercomputer simulations to solve Einstein's equations. We discuss recent numerical results and their impact on LISA science expectations.
Inoue, Yoshiyuki; Isobe, Naoki
2016-01-01
The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (aLIGO) has detected direct signals of gravitational waves (GWs) from GW150914. The event was a merger of a binary black holes whose masses are $36^{+5}_{-4}M_{\\odot}$ and $29^{+4}_{-4}M_{\\odot}$. Such binary systems are expected to be formed in either isolated binary systems or dense stellar environments. Here we derived the binary black hole merger rate for isolated binary systems based on the nearby ultra-luminous X-ray source (ULX) luminosity function (LF). We obtained the binary black hole merger rate as $1.9 ({t}_{\\rm ULX}/{1 \\ \\rm Myr})^{-1} \\lambda^{-0.6} \\exp{(-0.30\\lambda)} \\ {\\rm Gpc^{-3}\\ yr^{-1}}$, where $t_{\\rm ULX}$ is the typical duration of the ULX phase and $\\lambda$ is the Eddington ratio. This is comparable to the event rate inferred from the detection of GW150914 as well as the predictions based on binary population synthesis models. Although we are currently unable to constrain $\\lambda$ due to the uncertainties of our mode...
Black Hole Mergers and Gravitational Waves: Opening the New Frontier
Centrella, Joan
2012-01-01
The final merger of two black holes produces a powerful burst of gravitational waves, emitting more energy than all the stars in the observable universe combined. Since these mergers take place in the regime of strong dynamical gravity, computing the gravitational waveforms requires solving the full Einstein equations of general relativity on a computer. For more than 30 years, scientists tried to simulate these mergers using the methods of numerical relativity. The resulting computer codes were plagued by instabilities, causing them to crash well before the black holes in the binary could complete even a single orbit. In the past several years, this situation has changed dramatically, with a series of remarkable breakthroughs. This talk will highlight these breakthroughs and the resulting 'gold rush' of new results that is revealing the dynamics of binary black hole mergers, and their applications in gravitational wave detection, testing general relativity, and astrophysics.
Observational signatures of binary supermassive black holes
Observations indicate that most massive galaxies contain a supermassive black hole, and theoretical studies suggest that when such galaxies have a major merger, the central black holes will form a binary and eventually coalesce. Here we discuss two spectral signatures of such binaries that may help distinguish them from ordinary active galactic nuclei. These signatures are expected when the mass ratio between the holes is not extreme and the system is fed by a circumbinary disk. One such signature is a notch in the thermal continuum that has been predicted by other authors; we point out that it should be accompanied by a spectral revival at shorter wavelengths and also discuss its dependence on binary properties such as mass, mass ratio, and separation. In particular, we note that the wavelength λ n at which the notch occurs depends on these three parameters in such a way as to make the number of systems displaying these notches ∝λn16/3; longer wavelength searches are therefore strongly favored. A second signature, first discussed here, is hard X-ray emission with a Wien-like spectrum at a characteristic temperature ∼100 keV produced by Compton cooling of the shock generated when streams from the circumbinary disk hit the accretion disks around the individual black holes. We investigate the observability of both signatures. The hard X-ray signal may be particularly valuable as it can provide an indicator of black hole merger a few decades in advance of the event.
Flanagan, E E; Flanagan, Eanna E.; Hughes, Scott A.
1998-01-01
We estimate the expected signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) from the three phases (inspiral,merger,ringdown) of coalescing binary black holes (BBHs) for initial and advanced ground-based interferometers (LIGO/VIRGO) and for space-based interferometers (LISA). LIGO/VIRGO can do moderate SNR (a few tens), moderate accuracy studies of BBH coalescences in the mass range of a few to about 2000 solar masses; LISA can do high SNR (of order 10^4) high accuracy studies in the mass range of about 10^5 to 10^8 solar masses. BBHs might well be the first sources detected by LIGO/VIRGO: they are visible to much larger distances(up to 500 Mpc by initial interferometers) than coalescing neutron star binaries (heretofore regarded as the "bread and butter" workhorse source for LIGO/VIRGO, visible to about 30 Mpc by initial interferometers). Low-mass BBHs (up to 50 solar masses for initial LIGO interferometers; 100 for advanced; 10^6 for LISA) are best searched for via their well-understood inspiral waves; higher mass BBHs must be s...
Li, Shuo; Berczik, Peter; Spurzem, Rainer
2015-01-01
Supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) are productions of the hierarchical galaxy formation model. There are many close connections between central SMBH and its host galaxy because the former plays very important roles on the formation and evolution of a galaxy. For this reason, the evolution of SMBHBs in merging galaxies is an essential problem. Since there are many discussions about SMBHB evolution in gas rich environment, we focus on the quiescent galaxy, using tidal disruption as a diagnostic tool. Our study is based on a series of numerical large particle number direct N-body simulations for dry major mergers. According to the simulation results, the evolution can be divided into three phases. In phase I, the tidal disruption rate for two well separated SMBHs in merging system has similar level to single SMBH in isolate galaxy. After two SMBHs getting close enough to form a bound binary in phase II, the disruption rate can be enhanced for ~ 2 order of magnitudes within a short time. This "boosted" dis...
Orbital eccentricities in primordial black holes binaries
Cholis, Ilias; Ali-Haïmoud, Yacine; Bird, Simeon; Kamionkowski, Marc; Muñoz, Julian B; Raccanelli, Alvise
2016-01-01
It was recently suggested that the merger of $\\sim30\\,M_\\odot$ primordial black holes (PBHs) may provide a significant number of events in gravitational-wave observatories over the next decade, if they make up an appreciable fraction of the dark matter. Here we show that measurement of the eccentricities of the inspiralling binary black holes can be used to distinguish these binaries from those produced by more traditional astrophysical mechanisms. These PBH binaries are formed on highly eccentric orbits and can then merge on timescales that in some cases are years or less, retaining some eccentricity in the last seconds before the merger. This is to be contrasted with massive-stellar-binary, globular-cluster, or other astrophysical origins for binary black holes (BBHs) in which the orbits have very effectively circularized by the time the BBH enters the observable LIGO window. Here we discuss the features of the gravitational-wave signals that indicate this eccentricity and forecast the sensitivity of LIGO a...
Tests and applications of the SXS binary black hole catalog
Scheel, Mark; Simulations of Extreme Spacetimes (SXS) Collaboration Collaboration
2016-03-01
Numerical relativity is the only reliable method of computing the full gravitational waveform--including inspiral, merger, and ringdown--for strongly-gravitating systems like coalescing black holes, which are of foremost importance to gravitational-wave interferometers such as LIGO. We have used the Spectral Einstein Code [black-holes.org/SpEC.html] to construct a public catalog of hundreds of binary black hole simulations, for use by gravitational-wave science, and for calibration of fast analytic models of binary black-hole waveforms. We discuss the current status of the catalog, tests of the resulting waveforms, and selected applications.
Numerical Relativity Simulations for Black Hole Merger Astrophysics
Baker, John G.
2010-01-01
Massive black hole mergers are perhaps the most energetic astronomical events, establishing their importance as gravitational wave sources for LISA, and also possibly leading to observable influences on their local environments. Advances in numerical relativity over the last five years have fueled the development of a rich physical understanding of general relativity's predictions for these events. Z will overview the understanding of these event emerging from numerical simulation studies. These simulations elucidate the pre-merger dynamics of the black hole binaries, the consequent gravitational waveform signatures ' and the resulting state, including its kick velocity, for the final black hole produced by the merger. Scenarios are now being considered for observing each of these aspects of the merger, involving both gravitational-wave and electromagnetic astronomy.
Black Hole Mergers, Gravitational Waves, and Multi-Messenger Astronomy
Centrella, Joan M.
2010-01-01
The final merger of two black holes is expected to be the strongest source of gravitational waves for both ground-based detectors such as LIGO and VIRGO, as well as the space-based LISA. Since the merger takes place in the regime of strong dynamical gravity, computing the resulting gravitational waveforms requires solving the full Einstein equations of general relativity on a computer. Although numerical codes designed to simulate black hole mergers were plagued for many years by a host of instabilities, recent breakthroughs have conquered these problems and opened up this field dramatically. This talk will focus on the resulting gold rush of new results that is revealing the dynamics and waveforms of binary black hole mergers, and their applications in gravitational wave detection, astrophysics, and testing general relativity.
Mayer, Lucio
2013-12-01
We revisit the phases of the pairing and sinking of black holes (BHs) in galaxy mergers and circumnuclear discs in light of the results of recent simulations with massive BHs embedded in predominantly gaseous backgrounds. After a general overview we highlight for the first time the existence of a clear transition, for unequal mass BHs, between the regime in which the orbital decay is dominated by the conventional dynamical friction wake and one in which global disc torques associated with density waves launched by the secondary BH as well as co-orbital torques arising from gas gravitationally captured by the BH dominate and lead to faster decay. The new regime intervenes at BH binary separations of a few tens of parsecs and below, following a phase of orbital circularization driven dynamical friction. It bears some resemblance with planet migration in protoplanetary discs. While the orbital timescale is reasonably matched by the migration rate for the Type-I regime, the dominant negative torque arises near the co-rotation resonance, which is qualitatively similar to what is found in the so-called Type-III migration, the fastest migration regime identified so far for planets. This fast decay rate brings the BHs to separations of order 10-1 pc, the resolution limit of our simulations, in less than ˜107 yr in a smooth disc, while the decay timescale can increase to >108 yr in clumpy discs due to gravitational scattering with molecular clouds. Eventual gap opening at sub-pc scale separations will slow down the orbital decay subsequently. How fast the binary BH can reach the separation at which gravitational waves take over will be determined by the nature of the interaction with the circumbinary disc and the complex torques exerted the gas flowing through the edge of such disc, the subject of many recent studies. We also present a new intriguing connection between the conditions required for rapid orbital decay of massive BH binaries and those required for prominent
Flip-flopping binary black holes.
Lousto, Carlos O; Healy, James
2015-04-10
We study binary spinning black holes to display the long term individual spin dynamics. We perform a full numerical simulation starting at an initial proper separation of d≈25M between equal mass holes and evolve them down to merger for nearly 48 orbits, 3 precession cycles, and half of a flip-flop cycle. The simulation lasts for t=20 000M and displays a total change in the orientation of the spin of one of the black holes from an initial alignment with the orbital angular momentum to a complete antialignment after half of a flip-flop cycle. We compare this evolution with an integration of the 3.5 post-Newtonian equations of motion and spin evolution to show that this process continuously flip flops the spin during the lifetime of the binary until merger. We also provide lower order analytic expressions for the maximum flip-flop angle and frequency. We discuss the effects this dynamics may have on spin growth in accreting binaries and on the observational consequences for galactic and supermassive binary black holes. PMID:25910104
Mayer, Lucio
2013-01-01
We revisit the phases of the pairing and sinking of BHs in galaxy mergers and circunmunclear disks in light of the results of recent simulations with massive BHs embedded in predominantly gaseous backgrounds. After a general overview we discuss the importance of a fast orbital decay regime dominated by global disk torques rather than by the local dynamical friction wake. This regime can dominate at BH binary separations of a few tens of parsecs and below, following a phase of orbital circularization dominated by local dynamical friction. It is similar to Type-I migration in planetary evolution. It can bring the black holes to separations small enough for gravitational waves to take over on a timescale ranging from less than $\\sim 10^7$ yr to up to $10^8$ yr, depending on whether the interstellar medium is smooth or clumpy. Eventual gap opening at sub-pc scale separations slows down but does not interrupt the orbital decay.Subsequently, we discuss a new intriguing connection between the conditions required for...
GRB 140619B: a short GRB from a binary neutron stars merger leading to the black hole formation
Muccino, M; Kovacevic, M; Izzo, L; Oliveira, F G; Rueda, J A; Bianco, C L; Enderli, M; Penacchioni, A V; Pisani, G B; Wang, Y; Zaninoni, E
2014-01-01
Following the recent identification of the prototypical short GRB 090227B originating from a binary neutron star (NS) merger and forming a black hole (BH), we present here a new example of such sources, GRB 140619B. The time-resolved spectral analysis of the early ~0.2s of the Fermi-GBM data, allows for the identification of the characteristic features of the e^+e^- plasma at transparency (P-GRB): i.e., a thermal spectrum with an observed temperature kT=(324+/-33)keV which represents ~40% of the total source fluence. The subsequent emission, with no thermal spectrum, is identified with the prompt emission. We consequently deduce a theoretical redshift of z=2.67+/-0.37, a total burst energy E+/-=(6.03+/-0.79)x10^{52}erg, a baryon load B=(5.52+/-0.73)x10^{-5}, and a Lorentz factor at transparency Gamma=(1.08+/-0.08)x10^4. From the simulation of the prompt emission we determine the average density of the circumburst medium (CBM), n_CBM=(4.7+/-1.2)x10^{-5}cm^{-3}, typical of the galactic halo environment. These l...
Electromagnetic Counterparts to Black Hole Mergers
Schnittman, Jeremy D.
2011-01-01
During the final moments of a binary black hole (BH) merger, the gravitational wave (GW) luminosity of the system is greater than the combined electromagnetic (EM) output of the entire observable universe. However, the extremely weak coupling between GWs and ordinary matter makes these waves very difficult to detect directly. Fortunately, the inspirating BH system will interact strongly-on a purely Newtonian level-with any surrounding material in the host galaxy, and this matter can in turn produce unique EM signals detectable at Earth. By identifying EM counterparts to GW sources, we will be able to study the host environments of the merging BHs, in turn greatly expanding the scientific yield of a mission like LISA. Here we present a comprehensive review of the recent literature on the subject of EM counterparts, as well as a discussion of the theoretical and observational advances required to fully realize the scientific potential of the field.
Binary black holes on a budget: Simulations using workstations
Marronetti, P; Brügmann, B; González, J; Hannam, M; Husa, S; Sperhake, U; Marronetti, Pedro; Tichy, Wolfgang; Bruegmann, Bernd; Gonzalez, Jose; Hannam, Mark; Husa, Sascha; Sperhake, Ulrich
2007-01-01
Binary black hole simulations have traditionally been computationally very expensive: current simulations are performed in supercomputers involving dozens if not hundreds of processors, thus systematic studies of the parameter space of binary black hole encounters still seem prohibitive with current technology. Here we present results obtained using dual processor workstations with comparable quality to those obtained using much larger computer resources. For this, we use the multi-layered refinement level code BAM, based on the moving punctures method. BAM provides grid structures composed of boxes of increasing resolution near the center of the grid. In the case of binaries, the highest resolution boxes are placed around each black hole and they track them in their orbits until the final merger when a single set of levels surrounds the black hole remnant. This is particular useful when simulating spinning black holes since the gravitational fields gradients are larger. We present simulations of binaries wit...
Here we discuss the evolution of binaries around massive black holes (MBHs) in nuclear stellar clusters. We focus on their secular evolution due to the perturbation by the MBHs, while simplistically accounting for their collisional evolution. Binaries with highly inclined orbits with respect to their orbits around MBHs are strongly affected by secular processes, which periodically change their eccentricities and inclinations (e.g., Kozai-Lidov cycles). During periapsis approach, dissipative processes such as tidal friction may become highly efficient, and may lead to shrinkage of a binary orbit and even to its merger. Binaries in this environment can therefore significantly change their orbital evolution due to the MBH third-body perturbative effects. Such orbital evolution may impinge on their later stellar evolution. Here we follow the secular dynamics of such binaries and its coupling to tidal evolution, as well as the stellar evolution of such binaries on longer timescales. We find that stellar binaries in the central parts of nuclear stellar clusters (NSCs) are highly likely to evolve into eccentric and/or short-period binaries, and become strongly interacting binaries either on the main sequence (at which point they may even merge), or through their later binary stellar evolution. The central parts of NSCs therefore catalyze the formation and evolution of strongly interacting binaries, and lead to the enhanced formation of blue stragglers, X-ray binaries, gravitational wave sources, and possible supernova progenitors. Induced mergers/collisions may also lead to the formation of G2-like cloud-like objects such as the one recently observed in the Galactic center
Prodan, Snezana; Antonini, Fabio [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, 60 St. George Street, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8 (Canada); Perets, Hagai B., E-mail: sprodan@cita.utoronto.ca, E-mail: antonini@cita.utoronto.ca [Physics Department, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000 (Israel)
2015-02-01
Here we discuss the evolution of binaries around massive black holes (MBHs) in nuclear stellar clusters. We focus on their secular evolution due to the perturbation by the MBHs, while simplistically accounting for their collisional evolution. Binaries with highly inclined orbits with respect to their orbits around MBHs are strongly affected by secular processes, which periodically change their eccentricities and inclinations (e.g., Kozai-Lidov cycles). During periapsis approach, dissipative processes such as tidal friction may become highly efficient, and may lead to shrinkage of a binary orbit and even to its merger. Binaries in this environment can therefore significantly change their orbital evolution due to the MBH third-body perturbative effects. Such orbital evolution may impinge on their later stellar evolution. Here we follow the secular dynamics of such binaries and its coupling to tidal evolution, as well as the stellar evolution of such binaries on longer timescales. We find that stellar binaries in the central parts of nuclear stellar clusters (NSCs) are highly likely to evolve into eccentric and/or short-period binaries, and become strongly interacting binaries either on the main sequence (at which point they may even merge), or through their later binary stellar evolution. The central parts of NSCs therefore catalyze the formation and evolution of strongly interacting binaries, and lead to the enhanced formation of blue stragglers, X-ray binaries, gravitational wave sources, and possible supernova progenitors. Induced mergers/collisions may also lead to the formation of G2-like cloud-like objects such as the one recently observed in the Galactic center.
Massive Binary Black Holes in the Cosmic Landscape
Colpi, M
2009-01-01
Binary black holes occupy a special place in our quest for understanding the evolution of galaxies along cosmic history. If massive black holes grow at the center of (pre-)galactic structures that experience a sequence of merger episodes, then dual black holes form as inescapable outcome of galaxy assembly. But, if the black holes reach coalescence, then they become the loudest sources of gravitational waves ever in the universe. Nature seems to provide a pathway for the formation of these exotic binaries, and a number of key questions need to be addressed: How do massive black holes pair in a merger? Depending on the properties of the underlying galaxies, do black holes always form a close Keplerian binary? If a binary forms, does hardening proceed down to the domain controlled by gravitational wave back reaction? What is the role played by gas and/or stars in braking the black holes, and on which timescale does coalescence occur? Can the black holes accrete on flight and shine during their pathway to coales...
Observational signatures of binary supermassive black holes
Roedig, Constanze; Krolik, Julian H. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Miller, M. Coleman [Department of Astronomy and Joint Space-Science Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)
2014-04-20
Observations indicate that most massive galaxies contain a supermassive black hole, and theoretical studies suggest that when such galaxies have a major merger, the central black holes will form a binary and eventually coalesce. Here we discuss two spectral signatures of such binaries that may help distinguish them from ordinary active galactic nuclei. These signatures are expected when the mass ratio between the holes is not extreme and the system is fed by a circumbinary disk. One such signature is a notch in the thermal continuum that has been predicted by other authors; we point out that it should be accompanied by a spectral revival at shorter wavelengths and also discuss its dependence on binary properties such as mass, mass ratio, and separation. In particular, we note that the wavelength λ {sub n} at which the notch occurs depends on these three parameters in such a way as to make the number of systems displaying these notches ∝λ{sub n}{sup 16/3}; longer wavelength searches are therefore strongly favored. A second signature, first discussed here, is hard X-ray emission with a Wien-like spectrum at a characteristic temperature ∼100 keV produced by Compton cooling of the shock generated when streams from the circumbinary disk hit the accretion disks around the individual black holes. We investigate the observability of both signatures. The hard X-ray signal may be particularly valuable as it can provide an indicator of black hole merger a few decades in advance of the event.
PRECESSION. Dynamics of spinning black-hole binaries with python
Gerosa, Davide; Kesden, Michael
2016-01-01
We present the numerical code PRECESSION: a new open-source python module to study the dynamics of precessing black-hole binaries in the post-Newtonian regime. The code provides a comprehensive toolbox to (i) study the evolution of the black-hole spins along their precession cycles, (ii) perform gravitational-wave driven binary inspirals using both orbit-averaged and precession-averaged integrations, and (iii) predict the properties of the merger remnant through fitting formulae obtained from...
ECCENTRIC EVOLUTION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES
In recent numerical simulations, it has been found that the eccentricity of supermassive black hole (SMBH)-intermediate black hole (IMBH) binaries grows toward unity through interactions with the stellar background. This increase of eccentricity reduces the merging timescale of the binary through the gravitational radiation to a value well below the Hubble time. It also gives a theoretical explanation of the existence of eccentric binaries such as that in OJ287. In self-consistent N-body simulations, this increase of eccentricity is always observed. On the other hand, the result of the scattering experiment between SMBH binaries and field stars indicated that the eccentricity dose not change significantly. This discrepancy leaves the high eccentricity of the SMBH binaries in N-body simulations unexplained. Here, we present a stellar-dynamical mechanism that drives the increase of the eccentricity of an SMBH binary with a large mass ratio. There are two key processes involved. The first one is the Kozai mechanism under a non-axisymmetric potential, which effectively randomizes the angular momenta of surrounding stars. The other is the selective ejection of stars with prograde orbits. Through these two mechanisms, field stars extract the orbital angular momentum of the SMBH binary. Our proposed mechanism causes the increase in the eccentricity of most of SMBH binaries, resulting in the rapid merger through gravitational wave radiation. Our result has given a definite solution to the 'last-parsec problem'.
Inspiralling, nonprecessing, spinning black hole binary spacetime via asymptotic matching
Ireland, Brennan; Mundim, Bruno C.; Nakano, Hiroyuki; Campanelli, Manuela
2016-05-01
We construct a new global, fully analytic, approximate spacetime which accurately describes the dynamics of nonprecessing, spinning black hole binaries during the inspiral phase of the relativistic merger process. This approximate solution of the vacuum Einstein's equations can be obtained by asymptotically matching perturbed Kerr solutions near the two black holes to a post-Newtonian metric valid far from the two black holes. This metric is then matched to a post-Minkowskian metric even farther out in the wave zone. The procedure of asymptotic matching is generalized to be valid on all spatial hypersurfaces, instead of a small group of initial hypersurfaces discussed in previous works. This metric is well suited for long term dynamical simulations of spinning black hole binary spacetimes prior to merger, such as studies of circumbinary gas accretion which requires hundreds of binary orbits.
Binary black hole spectroscopy
We study parameter estimation with post-Newtonian (PN) gravitational waveforms for the quasi-circular, adiabatic inspiral of spinning binary compact objects. In particular, the performance of amplitude-corrected waveforms is compared with that of the more commonly used restricted waveforms, in Advanced LIGO and EGO. With restricted waveforms, the properties of the source can only be extracted from the phasing. In the case of amplitude-corrected waveforms, the spectrum encodes a wealth of additional information, which leads to dramatic improvements in parameter estimation. At distances of ∼100 Mpc, the full PN waveforms allow for high-accuracy parameter extraction for total mass up to several hundred solar masses, while with the restricted ones the errors are steep functions of mass, and accurate parameter estimation is only possible for relatively light stellar mass binaries. At the low-mass end, the inclusion of amplitude corrections reduces the error on the time of coalescence by an order of magnitude in Advanced LIGO and a factor of 5 in EGO compared to the restricted waveforms; at higher masses these differences are much larger. The individual component masses, which are very poorly determined with restricted waveforms, become measurable with high accuracy if amplitude-corrected waveforms are used, with errors as low as a few per cent in Advanced LIGO and a few tenths of a per cent in EGO. The usual spin-orbit parameter β is also poorly determined with restricted waveforms (except for low-mass systems in EGO), but the full waveforms give errors that are small compared to the largest possible value consistent with the Kerr bound. This suggests a way of finding out if one or both of the component objects violate this bound. On the other hand, we find that the spin-spin parameter σ remains poorly determined even when the full waveform is used. Generally, all errors have but a weak dependence on the magnitudes and orientations of the spins. We also briefly
Radio evidence for binary super massive black holes
Ekers, R. D.
2016-02-01
I present examples of radio AGN with binary nuclei which provide the direct radio evidence for binary Super Massive Black Holes (SMBH) driving the AGN activity. There is also other evidence for distorted radio morphology and periodic variability which may indicate the presence of a second (inactive) SMBH. Finally I enumerate a number of possible radio tracers for the binary SMBH merger events.
Dynamical Formation of the GW150914 Binary Black Hole
Rodriguez, Carl L; Chatterjee, Sourav; Kalogera, Vicky; Rasio, Frederic A
2016-01-01
We explore the possibility that GW150914, the binary black hole merger recently detected by Advanced LIGO, was formed by gravitational interactions in the core of a dense star cluster. Using models of globular clusters with detailed $N$-body dynamics and stellar evolution, we show that a typical cluster with a mass of $3\\times10^5M_{\\odot}$ to $6\\times10^5M_{\\odot}$ is optimal for forming GW150914-like binary black holes that will merge in the local universe. We identify the most likely dynamical processes for forming GW150914 in such a cluster, and we show that the detection of GW150914 is consistent with the masses and merger rates expected for binary black hole mergers from globular clusters. Our results show that dynamical processes provide a significant and well-understood pathway for forming binary black hole mergers in the local universe. Understanding the contribution of dynamics to the binary black hole merger problem is a critical step in unlocking the full potential of gravitational-wave astronomy.
Fraschetti, F
2016-01-01
We propose a qualitative scenario to interpret the argued association between the recent direct measurement of the gravitational wave event GW150914 by LIGO-Virgo collaborations and the hard $X$-ray transient detected by Fermi-GBM $0.4$ sec after. In a binary system of two gravitationally collapsing objects with a non-vanishing electric charge, the compenetration of the two magnetospheres occurring during the coalescence, through turbulent magnetic reconnection, produces a highly collimated relativistic outflow that becomes optically thin and shines in the GBM field of view. We propose that this process should be expected as a commonplace in the future joint gravitational/electromagnetic detections.
Nonspinning black hole-neutron star mergers: a model for the amplitude of gravitational waveforms
Pannarale, Francesco; Kyutoku, Koutarou; Shibata, Masaru
2013-01-01
Black hole-neutron star binary mergers display a much richer phenomenology than black hole-black hole mergers, even in the relatively simple case - considered in this paper - in which both the black hole and the neutron star are nonspinning. When the neutron star is tidally disrupted, the gravitational wave emission is radically different from the black hole-black hole case and it can be broadly classified in two groups, depending on the spatial extent of the disrupted material. We present a phenomenological model for the gravitational waveform amplitude in the frequency domain that encompasses the three possible outcomes of the merger: no tidal disruption, "mild", and "strong" tidal disruption. The model is calibrated to general relativistic numerical simulations using piecewise polytropic neutron star equations of state. It should prove useful to extract information on the nuclear equation of state from future gravitational-wave observations, and also to obtain more accurate estimates of black hole-neutron ...
We investigate a purely stellar dynamical solution to the Final Parsec Problem. Galactic nuclei resulting from major mergers are not spherical, but show some degree of triaxiality. With N-body simulations, we show that equal-mass massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) hosted by them will continuously interact with stars on centrophilic orbits and will thus inspiral-in much less than a Hubble time-down to separations at which gravitational-wave (GW) emission is strong enough to drive them to coalescence. Such coalescences will be important sources of GWs for future space-borne detectors such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). Based on our results for equal-mass mergers, and given that the hardening rate of unequal-mass binaries is similar, we expect that LISA will see between ∼10 and ∼ few x 102 such events every year, depending on the particular massive black hole (MBH) seed model as obtained in recent studies of merger trees of galaxy and MBH co-evolution. Orbital eccentricities in the LISA band will be clearly distinguishable from zero with e ∼> 0.001-0.01.
Binary black holes on a budget: simulations using workstations
Binary black hole simulations have traditionally been computationally very expensive: current simulations are performed in supercomputers involving dozens if not hundreds of processors, thus systematic studies of the parameter space of binary black hole encounters still seem prohibitive with current technology. Here we show how the multi-layered refinement level code BAM can be used on dual processor workstations to simulate certain binary black hole systems. BAM, based on the moving punctures method, provides grid structures composed of boxes of increasing resolution near the centre of the grid. In the case of binaries, the highest resolution boxes are placed around each black hole and they track them in their orbits until the final merger when a single set of levels surrounds the black hole remnant. This is particularly useful when simulating spinning black holes since the gravitational fields gradients are larger. We present simulations of binaries with equal mass black holes with spins parallel to the binary axis and intrinsic magnitude of S/m2 = 0.75. Our results compare favourably to those of previous simulations of this particular system. We show that the moving punctures method produces stable simulations at maximum spatial resolutions up to M/160 and for durations of up to the equivalent of 20 orbital periods
LIGO Discovers the Merger of Two Black Holes
Kohler, Susanna
2016-02-01
Big news: the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has detected its first gravitational-wave signal! Not only is the detection of this signal a major technical accomplishment and an exciting confirmation of general relativity, but it also has huge implications for black-hole astrophysics.What did LIGO see?LIGO is designed to detect the ripples in space-time created by two massive objects orbiting each other. These waves can reach observable amplitudes when a binary system consisting of two especially massive objects i.e., black holes or neutron stars reach the end of their inspiral and merge.LIGO has been unsuccessfully searching for gravitational waves since its initial operations in 2002, but a recent upgrade in its design has significantly increased its sensitivity and observational range. The first official observing run of Advanced LIGO began 18 September 2015, but the instruments were up and running in engineering mode several weeks before that. And it was in this time frame before official observing even began! that LIGO spotted its first gravitational wave signal: GW150914.One of LIGOs two detection sites, located near Hanford in eastern Washington. [LIGO]The signal, detected on 14 September, 2015, provides astronomers with a remarkable amount of information about the merger that caused it. From the detection, the LIGO team has extracted the masses of the two black holes that merged, 36+5-4 and 29+4-4 solar masses, as well as the mass of the final black hole formed by the merger, ~62 solar masses. The team also determined that the merger happened roughly a billion light-years away (at a redshift of z~0.1), and the direction of the signal was localized to an area of ~600 square degrees (roughly 1% of the sky).Why is this detection a big deal?This is the firstdirect detection of gravitational waves, providing spectacular further confirmation of Einsteins theory of general relativity. But the implications of GW150914 go far beyond this
Exact event horizon of a black hole merger
Emparan, Roberto; Martínez, Marina
2016-08-01
We argue that the event horizon of a binary black hole merger, in the extreme-mass-ratio limit where one of the black holes is much smaller than the other, can be described in an exact analytic way. This is done by tracing in the Schwarzschild geometry a congruence of null geodesics that approaches a null plane at infinity. Its form can be given explicitly in terms of elliptic functions, and we use it to analyze and illustrate the time-evolution of the horizon along the merger. We identify features such as the line of caustics at which light rays enter the horizon, and the critical point at which the horizons touch. We also compute several quantities that characterize these aspects of the merger.
Exact Event Horizon of a Black Hole Merger
Emparan, Roberto
2016-01-01
We argue that the event horizon of a binary black hole merger, in the extreme-mass-ratio limit where one of the black holes is much smaller than the other, can be described in an exact analytic way. This is done by tracing in the Schwarzschild geometry a congruence of null geodesics that approaches a null plane at infinity. Its form can be given explicitly in terms of elliptic functions, and we use it to analyze and illustrate the time-evolution of the horizon along the merger. We identify features such as the line of caustics at which light rays enter the horizon, and the critical point at which the horizons touch. We also compute several quantities that characterize these aspects of the merger.
Gravitational waves from inspiralling binary black holes
Binary black holes are the most promising candidate sources for the first generation of earth-based interferometric gravitational-wave detectors. We summarize and discuss the state-of-the-art analytical techniques developed during the last few years to better describe the late dynamical evolution of binary black holes of comparable masses
Decoding Mode-mixing in Black-hole Merger Ringdown
Kelly, Bernard J.; Baker, John G.
2013-01-01
Optimal extraction of information from gravitational-wave observations of binary black-hole coalescences requires detailed knowledge of the waveforms. Current approaches for representing waveform information are based on spin-weighted spherical harmonic decomposition. Higher-order harmonic modes carrying a few percent of the total power output near merger can supply information critical to determining intrinsic and extrinsic parameters of the binary. One obstacle to constructing a full multi-mode template of merger waveforms is the apparently complicated behavior of some of these modes; instead of settling down to a simple quasinormal frequency with decaying amplitude, some |m| = modes show periodic bumps characteristic of mode-mixing. We analyze the strongest of these modes the anomalous (3, 2) harmonic mode measured in a set of binary black-hole merger waveform simulations, and show that to leading order, they are due to a mismatch between the spherical harmonic basis used for extraction in 3D numerical relativity simulations, and the spheroidal harmonics adapted to the perturbation theory of Kerr black holes. Other causes of mode-mixing arising from gauge ambiguities and physical properties of the quasinormal ringdown modes are also considered and found to be small for the waveforms studied here.
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Moreno, G; Morgado, N; Morgia, A; Mori, T; Morriss, S R; Mosca, S; Mossavi, K; Mours, B; Mow-Lowry, C M; Mueller, C L; Mueller, G; Mukherjee, S; Mullavey, A; Mueller-Ebhardt, H; Munch, J; Murphy, D; Murray, P G; Mytidis, A; Nash, T; Naticchioni, L; Necula, V; Nelson, J; Neri, I; Newton, G; Nguyen, T; Nishizawa, A; Nitz, A; Nocera, F; Nolting, D; Normandin, M E; Nuttall, L; Ochsner, E; O'Dell, J; Oelker, E; Ogin, G H; Oh, J J; Oh, S H; Oldenberg, R G; O'Reilly, B; O'Shaughnessy, R; Osthelder, C; Ott, C D; Ottaway, D J; Ottens, R S; Overmier, H; Owen, B J; Page, A; Palladino, L; Palomba, C; Pan, Y; Pankow, C; Paoletti, F; Paoletti, R; Papa, M A; Parisi, M; Pasqualetti, A; Passaquieti, R; Passuello, D; Pedraza, M; Penn, S; Perreca, A; Persichetti, G; Phelps, M; Pichot, M; Pickenpack, M; Piergiovanni, F; Pierro, V; Pihlaja, M; Pinard, L; Pinto, I M; Pitkin, M; Pletsch, H J; Plissi, M V; Poggiani, R; Poeld, J; Postiglione, F; Poux, C; Prato, M; Predoi, V; Prestegard, T; Price, L R; Prijatelj, M; Principe, M; Privitera, S; Prix, R; Prodi, G A; Prokhorov, L G; Puncken, O; Punturo, M; Puppo, P; Quetschke, V; Quitzow-James, R; Raab, F J; Rabeling, D S; Racz, I; Radkins, H; Raffai, P; Rakhmanov, M; Ramet, C; Rankins, B; Rapagnani, P; Raymond, V; Re, V; Reed, C M; Reed, T; Regimbau, T; Reid, S; Reitze, D H; Ricci, F; Riesen, R; Riles, K; Roberts, M; Robertson, N A; Robinet, F; Robinson, C; Robinson, E L; Rocchi, A; Roddy, S; Rodriguez, C; Rodruck, M; Rolland, L; Rollins, J G; Romano, R; Romie, J H; Rosinska, D; Roever, C; Rowan, S; Ruediger, A; Ruggi, P; Ryan, K; Salemi, F; Sammut, L; Sandberg, V; Sankar, S; Sannibale, V; Santamaria, L; Santiago-Prieto, I; Santostasi, G; Saracco, E; Sassolas, B; Sathyaprakash, B S; Saulson, P R; Savage, R L; Schilling, R; Schnabel, R; Schofield, R M S; Schulz, B; Schutz, B F; Schwinberg, P; Scott, J; Scott, S M; Seifert, F; Sellers, D; Sentenac, D; Sergeev, A; Shaddock, D A; Shaltev, M; Shapiro, B; Shawhan, P; Shoemaker, D H; Sidery, T L; Siemens, X; Sigg, D; Simakov, D; Singer, A; Singer, L; Sintes, A M; Skelton, G R; Slagmolen, B J J; Slutsky, J; Smith, J R; Smith, M R; Smith, R J E; Smith-Lefebvre, N D; Somiya, K; Sorazu, B; Speirits, F C; Sperandio, L; Stefszky, M; Steinert, E; Steinlechner, J; Steinlechner, S; Steplewski, S; Stochino, A; Stone, R; Strain, K A; Strigin, S E; Stroeer, A S; Sturani, R; Stuver, A L; Summerscales, T Z; Sung, M; Susmithan, S; Sutton, P J; Swinkels, B; Szeifert, G; Tacca, M; Taffarello, L; Talukder, D; Tanner, D B; Tarabrin, S P; Taylor, R; ter Braack, A P M; Thomas, P; Thorne, K A; Thorne, K S; Thrane, E; Thuering, A; Titsler, C; Tokmakov, K V; Tomlinson, C; Toncelli, A; Tonelli, M; Torre, O; Torres, C V; Torrie, C I; Tournefier, E; Travasso, F; Traylor, G; Tse, M; Ugolini, D; Vahlbruch, H; Vajente, G; Brand, J F J van den; Broeck, C Van Den; van der Putten, S; van Veggel, A A; Vass, S; Vasuth, M; Vaulin, R; Vavoulidis, M; Vecchio, A; Vedovato, G; Veitch, J; Veitch, P J; Venkateswara, K; Verkindt, D; Vetrano, F; Vicere, A; Villar, A E; Vinet, J -Y; Vitale, S; Vocca, H; Vorvick, C; Vyatchanin, S P; Wade, A; Wade, L; Wade, M; Waldman, S J; Wallace, L; Wan, Y; Wang, M; Wang, X; Wanner, A; Ward, R L; Was, M; Weinert, M; Weinstein, A J; Weiss, R; Welborn, T; Wen, L; Wessels, P; West, M; Westphal, T; Wette, K; Whelan, J T; Whitcomb, S E; White, D J; Whiting, B F; Wiesner, K; Wilkinson, C; Willems, P A; Williams, L; Williams, R; Willke, B; Wimmer, M; Winkelmann, L; Winkler, W; Wipf, C C; Wiseman, A G; Wittel, H; Woan, G; Wooley, R; Worden, J; Yablon, J; Yakushin, I; Yamamoto, H; Yamamoto, K; Yancey, C C; Yang, H; Yeaton-Massey, D; Yoshida, S; Yvert, M; Zadrozny, A; Zanolin, M; Zendri, J -P; Zhang, F; Zhang, L; Zhao, C; Zotov, N; Zucker, M E; Zweizig, J
2012-01-01
We report a search for gravitational waves from the inspiral, merger and ringdown of binary black holes (BBH) with total mass between 25 and 100 solar masses, in data taken at the LIGO and Virgo observatories between July 7, 2009 and October 20, 2010. The maximum sensitive distance of the detectors over this period for a (20,20) Msun coalescence was 300 Mpc. No gravitational wave signals were found. We thus report upper limits on the astrophysical coalescence rates of BBH as a function of the component masses for non-spinning components, and also evaluate the dependence of the search sensitivity on component spins aligned with the orbital angular momentum. We find an upper limit at 90% confidence on the coalescence rate of BBH with non-spinning components of mass between 19 and 28 Msun of 3.3 \\times 10^-7 mergers /Mpc^3 /yr.
Distinguishing Between Formation Channels for Binary Black Holes with LISA
Breivik, Katelyn; Larson, Shane L; Kalogera, Vassiliki; Rasio, Frederic A
2016-01-01
The recent detections of GW150914 and GW151226 imply an abundance of stellar-mass binary-black-hole mergers in the local universe. While ground-based gravitational-wave detectors are limited to observing the final moments before a binary merges, space-based detectors, such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), can observe binaries at lower orbital frequencies where such systems may still encode information about their formation histories. In particular, the orbital eccentricity of binary black holes in the LISA frequency band can be used discriminate between binaries formed in isolation in galactic fields, and those formed in dense stellar environments such as globular clusters. In this letter, we explore the differences in orbital eccentricities of binary black hole populations as they evolve through the LISA frequency band. Overall we find that there are three distinct populations of orbital eccentricities discernible by LISA. We show that, depending on gravitational-wave frequency, anywhere fro...
Binary Black Hole Encounters, Gravitational Bursts and Maximum Final Spin
Washik, M C; Herrmann, F; Hinder, I; Shoemaker, D M; Laguna, P; Matzner, R A
2008-01-01
The spin of the final black hole in the coalescence of nonspinning black holes is determined by the ``residual'' orbital angular momentum of the binary. This residual momentum consists of the orbital angular momentum that the binary is not able to shed in the process of merging. We study the angular momentum radiated, the spin of the final black hole and the gravitational bursts in a series of orbits ranging from almost direct infall to numerous orbits before infall that exhibit multiple bursts of radiation in the merger process. We show that the final black hole gets a maximum spin parameter $a/M_h \\le 0.78$, and this maximum occurs for initial orbital angular momentum $L \\approx M^2_h$.
Black-Hole Binaries, Gravitational Waves, and Numerical Relativity
Kelly, Bernard J.; Centrella, Joan; Baker, John G.; Kelly, Bernard J.; vanMeter, James R.
2010-01-01
Understanding the predictions of general relativity for the dynamical interactions of two black holes has been a long-standing unsolved problem in theoretical physics. Black-hole mergers are monumental astrophysical events ' releasing tremendous amounts of energy in the form of gravitational radiation ' and are key sources for both ground- and spacebased gravitational wave detectors. The black-hole merger dynamics and the resulting gravitational waveforms can only he calculated through numerical simulations of Einstein's equations of general relativity. For many years, numerical relativists attempting to model these mergers encountered a host of problems, causing their codes to crash after just a fraction of a binary orbit cnuld be simulated. Recently ' however, a series of dramatic advances in numerical relativity has ' for the first time, allowed stable / robust black hole merger simulations. We chronicle this remarkable progress in the rapidly maturing field of numerical relativity, and the new understanding of black-hole binary dynamics that is emerging. We also discuss important applications of these fundamental physics results to astrophysics, to gravitationalwave astronomy, and in other areas.
Binary black hole late inspiral: Simulations for gravitational wave observations
Baker, J G; Choi, D I; Kelly, B J; Koppitz, M; McWilliams, S T; Van Meter, J R; Baker, John G.; Centrella, Joan; Choi, Dae-Il; Kelly, Bernard J.; Koppitz, Michael; Meter, James R. van; Williams, Sean T. Mc
2006-01-01
Coalescing binary black hole mergers are expected to be the strongest gravitational wave sources for ground-based interferometers, such as the LIGO, VIRGO, and GEO600, as well as the space-based interferometer LISA. Until recently it has been impossible to reliably derive the predictions of General Relativity for the final merger stage, which takes place in the strong-field regime. Recent progress in numerical relativity simulations is, however, revolutionizing our understanding of these systems. We examine here the specific case of merging equal-mass Schwarzschild black holes in detail, presenting new simulations in which the black holes start in the late inspiral stage on orbits with very low eccentricity and evolve for ~1200M through ~7 orbits before merging. We study the accuracy and consistency of our simulations and the resulting gravitational waveforms, which encompass ~14 cycles before merger, and highlight the importance of using frequency (rather than time) to set the physical reference when compari...
Cassini states for black hole binaries
Correia, Alexandre C. M.
2015-01-01
Cassini states correspond to the equilibria of the spin axis of a body when its orbit is perturbed. They were initially described for planetary satellites, but the spin axes of black hole binaries also present this kind of equilibria. In previous works, Cassini states were reported as spin-orbit resonances, but actually the spin of black hole binaries is in circulation and there is no resonant motion. Here we provide a general description of the spin dynamics of black hole binary systems base...
Precessional Instability in Binary Black Holes with Aligned Spins.
Gerosa, Davide; Kesden, Michael; O'Shaughnessy, Richard; Klein, Antoine; Berti, Emanuele; Sperhake, Ulrich; Trifirò, Daniele
2015-10-01
Binary black holes on quasicircular orbits with spins aligned with their orbital angular momentum have been test beds for analytic and numerical relativity for decades, not least because symmetry ensures that such configurations are equilibrium solutions to the spin-precession equations. In this work, we show that these solutions can be unstable when the spin of the higher-mass black hole is aligned with the orbital angular momentum and the spin of the lower-mass black hole is antialigned. Spins in these configurations are unstable to precession to large misalignment when the binary separation r is between the values r(ud±)=(√(χ(1))±√(qχ(2)))(4)(1-q)(-2)M, where M is the total mass, q≡m(2)/m(1) is the mass ratio, and χ(1) (χ(2)) is the dimensionless spin of the more (less) massive black hole. This instability exists for a wide range of spin magnitudes and mass ratios and can occur in the strong-field regime near the merger. We describe the origin and nature of the instability using recently developed analytical techniques to characterize fully generic spin precession. This instability provides a channel to circumvent astrophysical spin alignment at large binary separations, allowing significant spin precession prior to merger affecting both gravitational-wave and electromagnetic signatures of stellar-mass and supermassive binary black holes. PMID:26551802
precession: Dynamics of spinning black-hole binaries with python
Gerosa, Davide; Kesden, Michael
2016-06-01
We present the numerical code precession, a new open-source python module to study the dynamics of precessing black-hole binaries in the post-Newtonian regime. The code provides a comprehensive toolbox to (i) study the evolution of the black-hole spins along their precession cycles, (ii) perform gravitational-wave-driven binary inspirals using both orbit-averaged and precession-averaged integrations, and (iii) predict the properties of the merger remnant through fitting formulas obtained from numerical-relativity simulations. precession is a ready-to-use tool to add the black-hole spin dynamics to larger-scale numerical studies such as gravitational-wave parameter estimation codes, population synthesis models to predict gravitational-wave event rates, galaxy merger trees and cosmological simulations of structure formation. precession provides fast and reliable integration methods to propagate statistical samples of black-hole binaries from/to large separations where they form to/from small separations where they become detectable, thus linking gravitational-wave observations of spinning black-hole binaries to their astrophysical formation history. The code is also a useful tool to compute initial parameters for numerical-relativity simulations targeting specific precessing systems. precession can be installed from the python Package Index, and it is freely distributed under version control on github, where further documentation is provided.
Dynamical Formation of the GW150914 Binary Black Hole
Rodriguez, Carl L.; Haster, Carl-Johan; Chatterjee, Sourav; Kalogera, Vicky; Rasio, Frederic A.
2016-01-01
We explore the possibility that GW150914, the binary black hole merger recently detected by Advanced LIGO, was formed by gravitational interactions in the core of a dense star cluster. Using models of globular clusters with detailed $N$-body dynamics and stellar evolution, we show that a typical cluster with a mass of $3\\times10^5M_{\\odot}$ to $6\\times10^5M_{\\odot}$ is optimal for forming GW150914-like binary black holes that will merge in the local universe. We identify the most likely dynam...
Birth of Massive Black Hole Binaries
Colpi, M.; /Milan Bicocca U.; Dotti, M.; /Insubria U., Como; Mayer, L.; /Zurich, ETH; Kazantzidis, S.; /KIPAC, Menlo Park
2007-11-19
If massive black holes (BHs) are ubiquitous in galaxies and galaxies experience multiple mergers during their cosmic assembly, then BH binaries should be common albeit temporary features of most galactic bulges. Observationally, the paucity of active BH pairs points toward binary lifetimes far shorter than the Hubble time, indicating rapid inspiral of the BHs down to the domain where gravitational waves lead to their coalescence. Here, we review a series of studies on the dynamics of massive BHs in gas-rich galaxy mergers that underscore the vital role played by a cool, gaseous component in promoting the rapid formation of the BH binary. The BH binary is found to reside at the center of a massive self-gravitating nuclear disc resulting from the collision of the two gaseous discs present in the mother galaxies. Hardening by gravitational torques against gas in this grand disc is found to continue down to sub-parsec scales. The eccentricity decreases with time to zero and when the binary is circular, accretion sets in around the two BHs. When this occurs, each BH is endowed with it own small-size ({approx}< 0.01 pc) accretion disc comprising a few percent of the BH mass. Double AGN activity is expected to occur on an estimated timescale of {approx}< 1 Myr. The double nuclear point-like sources that may appear have typical separation of {approx}< 10 pc, and are likely to be embedded in the still ongoing starburst. We note that a potential threat of binary stalling, in a gaseous environment, may come from radiation and/or mechanical energy injections by the BHs. Only short-lived or sub-Eddington accretion episodes can guarantee the persistence of a dense cool gas structure around the binary necessary for continuing BH inspiral.
Testing general relativity using golden black-hole binaries
Ghosh, Abhirup; Johnson-McDaniel, Nathan K; Mishra, Chandra Kant; Ajith, Parameswaran; Del Pozzo, Walter; Nichols, David A; Chen, Yanbei; Nielsen, Alex B; Berry, Christopher P L; London, Lionel
2016-01-01
The coalescences of stellar-mass black-hole binaries through their inspiral, merger, and ringdown are among the most promising sources for ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. If a GW signal is observed with sufficient signal-to-noise ratio, the masses and spins of the black holes can be estimated from just the inspiral part of the signal. Using these estimates of the initial parameters of the binary, the mass and spin of the final black hole can be uniquely predicted making use of general-relativistic numerical simulations. In addition, the mass and spin of the final black hole can be independently estimated from the merger-ringdown part of the signal. If the binary black hole dynamics is correctly described by general relativity, these independent estimates have to be consistent with each other. We present a Bayesian implementation of such a test of general relativity, and outline the expected constraints from upcoming GW observations using the second-generation of ground-based GW detectors.
Supermassive Black Hole Binaries as Galactic Blenders
Kandrup, H E; Terzic, B; Bohn, C L; Kandrup, Henry E.; Sideris, Ioannis V.; Terzic, Balsa; Bohn, Courtlandt L.
2003-01-01
This paper focuses on the dynamical implications of close supermassive black hole binaries both as an example of resonant phase mixing and as a potential explanation of inversions and other anomalous features observed in the luminosity profiles of some elliptical galaxies. The presence of a binary comprised of black holes executing nearly periodic orbits leads to the possibility of a broad resonant coupling between the black holes and various stars in the galaxy. This can result in efficient chaotic phase mixing and, in many cases, systematic increases in the energies of stars and their consequent transport towards larger radii. Allowing for the presence of a supermassive black hole binary with plausible parameter values near the center of a spherical, or nearly spherical, galaxy characterised initially by a Nuker density profile enables one to reproduce in considerable detail the central surface brightness distributions of such galaxies as NGC 3706.
The effect of lensing magnification on the apparent distribution of black hole mergers
Dai, Liang; Sigurdson, Kris
2016-01-01
The recent detection of gravitational waves indicates that stellar-mass black hole binaries are likely to be a key population of sources for forthcoming observations. With future upgrades, ground-based detectors could detect merging black hole binaries out to cosmological distances. Gravitational wave bursts from high redshifts ($z \\gtrsim 1$) can be strongly magnified by gravitational lensing due to intervening galaxies along the line of sight. In the absence of electromagnetic counterparts, the mergers' intrinsic mass scale and redshift are degenerate with the unknown magnification factor $\\mu$. Hence, strongly magnified low-mass mergers from high redshifts appear as higher-mass mergers from lower redshifts. We assess the impact of this degeneracy on the mass-redshift distribution of observable events for generic models of binary black hole formation from normal stellar evolution, Pop III star remnants, or a primordial black hole population. We find that strong magnification ($\\mu \\gtrsim 3$) generally crea...
Mergers and ejections of black holes in globular clusters
Aarseth, Sverre
2012-01-01
We report on results of fully consistent N-body simulations of globular cluster models with N = 100 000 members containing neutron stars and black holes. Using the improved `algorithmic regularization' method of Hellstrom and Mikkola for compact subsystems, the new code NBODY7 enables for the first time general relativistic coalescence to be achieved for post-Newtonian terms and realistic parameters. Following an early stage of mass segregation, a few black holes form a small dense core which usually leads to the formation of one dominant binary. The subsequent evolution by dynamical shrinkage involves the competing processes of ejection and mergers by radiation energy loss. Unless the binary is ejected, long-lived triple systems often exhibit Kozai cycles with extremely high inner eccentricity (e > 0.999) which may terminate in coalescence at a few Schwarzschild radii. A characteristic feature is that ordinary stars as well as black holes and even BH binaries are ejected with high velocities. On the basis of...
A Radio Census of Binary Supermassive Black Holes
Burke-Spolaor, Sarah
2010-01-01
Using archival VLBI data for 3114 radio-luminous active galactic nuclei, we searched for binary supermassive black holes using a radio spectral index mapping technique which targets spatially resolved, double radio-emitting nuclei. Only one source was detected as a double nucleus. This result is compared with a cosmological merger rate model and interpreted in terms of (1) implications for post-merger timescales for centralisation of the two black holes, (2) implications for the possibility of "stalled" systems, and (3) the relationship of radio activity in nuclei to mergers. Our analysis suggests that the binary evolution of paired supermassive black holes (both of masses >= 1e8 Msun) spends less than 500 Myr in progression from the merging of galactic stellar cores to within the purported stalling radius for supermassive black hole pairs. The data show no evidence for an excess of stalled binary systems at small separations. We see circumstantial evidence that the relative state of radio emission between pa...
ALIGNMENT OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARY ORBITS AND SPINS
Miller, M. Coleman [Department of Astronomy and Joint Space-Science Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States); Krolik, Julian H., E-mail: miller@astro.umd.edu [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
2013-09-01
Recent studies of accretion onto supermassive black hole binaries suggest that much, perhaps most, of the matter eventually accretes onto one hole or the other. If so, then for binaries whose inspiral from {approx}1 pc to {approx}10{sup -3}-10{sup -2} pc is driven by interaction with external gas, both the binary orbital axis and the individual black hole spins can be reoriented by angular momentum exchange with this gas. Here we show that, unless the binary mass ratio is far from unity, the spins of the individual holes align with the binary orbital axis in a time {approx}few-100 times shorter than the binary orbital axis aligns with the angular momentum direction of the incoming circumbinary gas; the spin of the secondary aligns more rapidly than that of the primary by a factor {approx}(m{sub 1}/m{sub 2}){sup 1/2} > 1. Thus the binary acts as a stabilizing agent, so that for gas-driven systems, the black hole spins are highly likely to be aligned (or counteraligned if retrograde accretion is common) with each other and with the binary orbital axis. This alignment can significantly reduce the recoil speed resulting from subsequent black hole merger.
Electromagnetic Luminosity of the Coalescence of Charged Black Hole Binaries
Liebling, Steven L
2016-01-01
The observation of a possible electromagnetic counterpart by the Fermi GBM group to the aLIGO detection of the merger of a black hole binary has spawned a number of ideas about its source. Furthermore, observations of fast radio bursts (FRBs) have similarly resulted in a range of new models that might endow black hole binaries with electromagnetic signatures. In this context, even the unlikely idea that astrophysical black holes may have significant charge is worth exploring, and here we present results from the simulation of weakly charged black holes as they orbit and merge. Our simulations suggest that a black hole binary with mass comparable to that observed in GW150914 could produce the level of electromagnetic luminosity observed by Fermi GBM ($10^{49}$ ergs/s) with a non-dimensional charge of $q \\equiv Q/M = 10^{-4}$ assuming good radiative efficiency. However even a charge such as this is difficult to imagine avoiding neutralization long enough for the binary to produce its electromagnetic counterpart...
Centrella, Joan M.
2010-01-01
The final merger of two massive black holes produces a powerful burst of gravitational radiation, emitting more energy than all the stars in the observable universe combined. The resulting gravitational waveforms will be easily detectable by the space-based LISA out to redshifts z greater than 10, revealing the masses and spins of the black holes to high precision. If the merging black holes have unequal masses, or asymmetric spins, the final black hole that forms can recoil with a velocity exceeding 1000 km/s. And, when the black holes merge in the presence of gas and magnetic fields, various types of electromagnetic signals may also be produced. For more than 30 years, scientists have tried to compute black hole mergers using the methods of numerical relativity. The resulting computer codes have been plagued by instabilities, causing them to crash well before the black holes in the binary could complete even a single orbit. Within the past few years, however, this situation has changed dramatically, with a series of remarkable breakthroughs. This talk will focus on new results that are revealing the dynamics and waveforms of binary black hole mergers, recoil velocities, and the possibility of accompanying electromagnetic outbursts.
Aligned spin neutron star-black hole mergers: a gravitational waveform amplitude model
Pannarale, Francesco; Kyutoku, Koutarou; Lackey, Benjamin D; Shibata, Masaru
2015-01-01
The gravitational radiation emitted during the merger of a black hole with a neutron star is rather similar to the radiation from the merger of two black holes when the neutron star is not tidally disrupted. When tidal disruption occurs, gravitational waveforms can be broadly classified in two groups, depending on the spatial extent of the disrupted material. Extending previous work by some of us, here we present a phenomenological model for the gravitational waveform amplitude in the frequency domain encompassing the three possible outcomes of the merger: no tidal disruption, "mild" and "strong" tidal disruption. The model is calibrated to 134 general-relativistic numerical simulations of binaries where the black hole spin is either aligned or antialigned with the orbital angular momentum. All simulations were produced using the SACRA code and piecewise polytropic neutron star equations of state. The present model can be used to determine when black-hole binary waveforms are sufficient for gravitational-wave...
Electromagnetic Counterparts to Black Hole Mergers Detected by LIGO
Loeb, Abraham
2016-01-01
Mergers of stellar-mass black holes (BHs), such as GW150914 observed by LIGO, are not expected to have electromagnetic counterparts. However, the Fermi GBM detector identified of a gamma-ray transient 0.4 s after the gravitational wave (GW) signal GW150914 with consistent sky localization. I show that the two signals might be related if the BH binary detected by LIGO originated from two clumps in a dumbbell configuration that formed when the core of a rapidly rotating massive star collapsed. In that case, the BH binary merger was followed by a gamma-ray burst (GRB) from a jet that originated in the accretion flow around the remnant BH. A future detection of a GRB afterglow could be used to determine the redshift and precise localization of the source. A population of standard GW sirens with GRB redshifts would provide a new approach for precise measurements of cosmological distances as a function of redshift.
Binary Black Holes: Spin Dynamics and Gravitational Recoil
Herrmann, Frank; Shoemaker, Deirdre M; Laguna, Pablo; Matzner, Richard A
2007-01-01
We present a study of spinning black hole binaries focusing on the spin dynamics of the individual black holes as well as on the gravitational recoil acquired by the black hole produced by the merger. We consider two series of initial spin orientations away from the binary orbital plane. In one of the series, the spins are anti-aligned; for the second series, one of the spins points away from the binary along the line separating the black holes. We find a remarkable agreement between the spin dynamics predicted at 2nd post-Newtonian order and those from numerical relativity. For each configuration, we compute the kick of the final black hole. We use the kick estimates from the series with anti-aligned spins to fit the parameters in the Kidder kick formula, and verify that the recoil along the direction of the orbital angular momentum is proportional to $\\sin\\theta$ and on the orbital plane to $\\cos\\theta$, with $\\theta$ the angle between the spin directions and the orbital angular momentum.
Investigating Dark Energy with Black Hole Binaries
The accelerated expansion of the universe is ascribed to the existence of dark energy. Black holes accrete dark energy. The accretion induces a mass change proportional to the energy density and pressure of the background dark energy fluid. The time scale during which the mass of black holes changes considerably is long relative to the age of the universe, thus beyond detection possibilities. We propose to take advantage of the modified black hole masses for exploring the equation of state w[z] of dark energy, by investigating the evolution of supermassive black hole binaries on a dark energy background. Deriving the signatures of dark energy accretion on the evolution of binaries, we find that dark energy imprints on the emitted gravitational radiation and on the changes in the orbital radius of the binary can be within detection limits for certain supermassive black hole binaries. This talk describes how binaries can provide a useful tool in obtaining complementary information on the nature of dark energy.
PRECESSION. Dynamics of spinning black-hole binaries with python
Gerosa, Davide
2016-01-01
We present the numerical code PRECESSION: a new open-source python module to study the dynamics of precessing black-hole binaries in the post-Newtonian regime. The code provides a comprehensive toolbox to (i) study the evolution of the black-hole spins along their precession cycles, (ii) perform gravitational-wave driven binary inspirals using both orbit-averaged and precession-averaged integrations, and (iii) predict the properties of the merger remnant through fitting formulae obtained from numerical-relativity simulations. PRECESSION is a ready-to-use tool to add the black-hole spin dynamics to larger-scale numerical studies such as gravitational-wave parameter estimation codes, population synthesis models to predict gravitational-wave event rates, galaxy merger trees and cosmological simulations of structure formation. PRECESSION provides fast and reliable integration methods to propagate statistical samples of black-hole binaries from/to large separations where they form to/from small separations where t...
Hypervelocity binary stars: smoking gun of massive binary black holes
Lu, Youjun; Lin, D N C
2007-01-01
The hypervelocity stars recently found in the Galactic halo are expelled from the Galactic center through interactions between binary stars and the central massive black hole or between single stars and a hypothetical massive binary black hole. In this paper, we demonstrate that binary stars can be ejected out of the Galactic center with velocities up to 10^3 km/s, while preserving their integrity, through interactions with a massive binary black hole. Binary stars are unlikely to attain such high velocities via scattering by a single massive black hole or through any other mechanisms. Based on the above theoretical prediction, we propose a search for binary systems among the hypervelocity stars. Discovery of hypervelocity binary stars, even one, is a definitive evidence of the existence of a massive binary black hole in the Galactic center.
Kick processes in the merger of two colliding black holes
We examine numerically the process of momentum extraction by gravitational waves in the merger of two colliding black holes, in the realm of Robinson-Trautman spacetimes. The initial data have already a common horizon so that the evolution covers the post-merger phase up to the final configuration of the remnant black hole. The analysis of the momentum flux carried out by gravitational waves indicates that two distinct regimes are present in the post-merger phase: (i) an initial accelerated regime, followed by (ii) a deceleration regime in which the deceleration increases rapidly towards a maximum and then decreases to zero, when the gravitational wave emission ceases. The analysis is based on the Bondi-Sachs conservation law for the total momentum of the system. We obtain the total kick velocity Vk imparted on the merged black hole during the accelerated regime (i) and the total antikick velocity Vak during the decelerated regime (ii), by evaluating the impulse of the gravitational wave flux during both regimes. The distributions of both Vk and Vak as a function of the symmetric mass ratio η satisfy a simple η-scaling law motivated by post-Newtonian analytical estimates. In the η-scaling formula the Newtonian factor is dominant in the decelerated regime, that generates Vak, contrary to the behavior in the initial accelerated regime. For an initial infalling velocity v/c≅0.462 of each individual black hole we obtain a maximum kick Vk≅6.4 km/s at η≅0.209, and a maximum antikick Vak≅109 km/s at η≅0.205. The net antikick velocity (Vak-Vk) also satisfies a similar η-scaling law with a maximum approximately 102 km/s also at η≅0.205, qualitatively consistent with results from numerical relativity simulations, and post-Newtonian evaluations of binary black hole inspirals. For larger values of the initial data parameter v/c substantial larger values of the net antikick velocity are obtained. Based on the several velocity variables obtained, we discuss a
The next generation of ground-based gravitational wave detectors may detect a few mergers of comparable-mass M≅100-1000M·[''intermediate-mass'' (IMBH)] spinning black holes. Black hole spin is known to have a significant impact on the orbit, merger signal, and post-merger ringdown of any binary with non-negligible spin. In particular, the detection volume for spinning binaries depends significantly on the component black hole spins. We provide a fit to the single-detector and isotropic-network detection volume versus (total) mass and arbitrary spin for equal-mass binaries. Our analysis assumes matched filtering to all significant available waveform power (up to l=6 available for fitting, but only l≤4 significant) estimated by an array of 64 numerical simulations with component spins as large as S1,2/M2≤0.8. We provide a spin-dependent estimate of our uncertainty, up to S1,2/M2≤1. For the initial (advanced) LIGO detector, our fits are reliable for M(set-membership sign)[100,500]M· (M(set-membership sign)[100,1600]M·). In the online version of this article, we also provide fits assuming incomplete information, such as the neglect of higher-order harmonics. We briefly discuss how a strong selection bias towards aligned spins influences the interpretation of future gravitational wave detections of IMBH-IMBH mergers.
Quasi periodic oscillations in black hole binaries
Motta, S E
2016-01-01
Fast time variability is the most prominent characteristic of accreting systems and the presence of quasi periodic oscillations (QPOs) is a constant in all accreting systems, from cataclysmic variables to AGNs, passing through black hole and neutron star X-ray binaries and through the enigmatic ultra-luminous X-ray sources. In this paper I will briefly review the current knowledge of QPOs in black hole X-ray binaries, mainly focussing on their observed properties, but also mentioning the most important models that have been proposed to explain the origin of QPOs over the last decades.
Black Holes, Mergers, and the Entropy Budget of the Universe
Kephart, Thomas W.; Ng, Y. Jack
2002-01-01
Vast amounts of entropy are produced in black hole formation, and the amount of entropy stored in supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies is now much greater than the entropy free in the rest of the universe. Either mergers involved in forming supermassive black holes are rare,or the holes must be very efficient at capturing nearly all the entropy generated in the process. We argue that this information can be used to constrain supermassive black hole production, and may eventuall...
Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Rays and Black Hole Mergers
Kotera, Kumiko
2016-01-01
The recent detection of the gravitational wave source GW150914 by the LIGO collaboration motivates a speculative source for the origin of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays as a possible byproduct of the immense energies achieved in black hole mergers, provided that the black holes have spin as seems inevitable and there are relic magnetic fields and disk debris remaining from the formation of the black holes or from their accretion history. We argue that given the modest efficiency $< 0.01$ required per event per unit of gravitational wave energy release, merging black holes potentially provide an environment for accelerating cosmic rays to ultrahigh energies.
Results from Binary Black Hole Simulations in Astrophysics Applications
Baker, John G.
2007-01-01
Present and planned gravitational wave observatories are opening a new astronomical window to the sky. A key source of gravitational waves is the merger of two black holes. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), in particular, is expected to observe these events with signal-to-noise ratio's in the thousands. To fully reap the scientific benefits of these observations requires a detailed understanding, based on numerical simulations, of the predictions of General Relativity for the waveform signals. New techniques for simulating binary black hole mergers, introduced two years ago, have led to dramatic advances in applied numerical simulation work. Over the last two years, numerical relativity researchers have made tremendous strides in understanding the late stages of binary black hole mergers. Simulations have been applied to test much of the basic physics of binary black hole interactions, showing robust results for merger waveform predictions, and illuminating such phenomena as spin-precession. Calculations have shown that merging systems can be kicked at up to 2500 km/s by the thrust from asymmetric emission. Recently, long lasting simulations of ten or more orbits allow tests of post-Newtonian (PN) approximation results for radiation from the last orbits of the binary's inspiral. Already, analytic waveform models based PN techniques with incorporated information from numerical simulations may be adequate for observations with current ground based observatories. As new advances in simulations continue to rapidly improve our theoretical understanding of the systems, it seems certain that high-precision predictions will be available in time for LISA and other advanced ground-based instruments. Future gravitational wave observatories are expected to make precision.
Dynamical Interactions and the Black Hole Merger Rate of the Universe
O'Leary, R; Rasio, F; Leary, Ryan O'; Shaughnessy, Richard O'; Rasio, Frederic
2007-01-01
Binary black holes can form efficiently in dense young stellar clusters, such as the progenitors of globular clusters, via a combination of gravitational segregation and cluster evaporation. We use simple analytic arguments supported by detailed $N$-body simulations to determine how frequently black holes born in a single stellar cluster should form binaries, be ejected from the cluster, and merge through the emission of gravitational radiation. We then convolve this ``transfer function'' relating cluster formation to black hole mergers with (i) the distribution of observed cluster masses and (ii) the star formation history of the universe, assuming that a significant fraction $\\gcl$ of star formation occurs in clusters and that a significant fraction $\\gcand$ of clusters undergo this segregation and evaporation process. We predict future ground--based gravitational wave (GW) detectors could observe $\\sim 10^4 \\gcl \\gcand$ double black hole mergers per year. Under the most optimistic assumptions $(\\gcl=\\gcand...
A Compact Supermassive Binary Black Hole System
Rodríguez, C; Zavala, R T; Peck, A B; Pollack, L K; Romani, R W
2006-01-01
We report on the discovery of a supermassive binary black hole system in the radio galaxy 0402+379, with a projected separation between the two black holes of just 7.3 pc. This is the closest black hole pair yet found by more than two orders of magnitude. These results are based upon recent multi-frequency observations using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) which reveal two compact, variable, flat-spectrum, active nuclei within the elliptical host galaxy of 0402+379. Multi-epoch observations from the VLBA also provide constraints on the total mass and dynamics of the system. Low spectral resolution spectroscopy using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope indicates two velocity systems with a combined mass of the two black holes of ~1.5 x 10^8 solar masses. The two nuclei appear stationary while the jets emanating from the weaker of the two nuclei appear to move out and terminate in bright hot spots. The discovery of this system has implications for the number of close binary black holes that might be sources of gravi...
Microlensing Signature of Binary Black Holes
Schnittman, Jeremy; Sahu, Kailash; Littenberg, Tyson
2012-01-01
We calculate the light curves of galactic bulge stars magnified via microlensing by stellar-mass binary black holes along the line-of-sight. We show the sensitivity to measuring various lens parameters for a range of survey cadences and photometric precision. Using public data from the OGLE collaboration, we identify two candidates for massive binary systems, and discuss implications for theories of star formation and binary evolution.
Cassini states for black hole binaries
Correia, Alexandre C. M.
2016-03-01
Cassini states correspond to the equilibria of the spin axis of a body when its orbit is perturbed. They were initially described for planetary satellites, but the spin axes of black hole binaries also present this kind of equilibria. In previous works, Cassini states were reported as spin-orbit resonances, but actually the spin of black hole binaries is in circulation and there is no resonant motion. Here we provide a general description of the spin dynamics of black hole binary systems based on a Hamiltonian formalism. In absence of dissipation, the problem is integrable and it is easy to identify all possible trajectories for the spin for a given value of the total angular momentum. As the system collapses due to radiation reaction, the Cassini states are shifted to different positions, which modifies the dynamics around them. This is why the final spin distribution may differ from the initial one. Our method provides a simple way of predicting the distribution of the spin of black hole binaries at the end of the inspiral phase.
Cassini states for black-hole binaries
Correia, Alexandre C M
2016-01-01
Cassini states correspond to equilibria of the spin axis of a celestial body when its orbit is perturbed. They were initially described for planetary satellites, but the spin axes of black-hole binaries also present this kind of equilibria. In previous works, Cassini states were reported as spin-orbit resonances, but actually the spin of black-hole binaries is in circulation and there is no resonant motion. Here we provide a general description of the spin dynamics of black-hole binary systems based on a Hamiltonian formalism. In absence of dissipation the problem is integrable and it is easy to identify all possible trajectories for the spin for a given value of the total angular momentum. As the system collapses due to radiation reaction, the Cassini states are shifted to different positions, which modifies the dynamics around them. This is why the final spin distribution may differ from the initial one. Our method provides a simple way of predicting the distribution of the spin of black-hole binaries at th...
O'Shaughnessy, R; Healy, J; Shoemaker, D
2012-01-01
The short gravitational wave signal from the merger of compact binaries encodes a surprising amount of information about the strong-field dynamics of merger into frequencies accessible to ground-based interferometers. In this paper we describe a previously-unknown "precession" of the peak emission direction with time, both before and after the merger, about the total angular momentum direction. We demonstrate the gravitational wave polarization encodes the orientation of this direction to the line of sight. We argue the effects of polarization can be estimated nonparametrically, directly from the gravitational wave signal as seen along one line of sight, as a slowly-varying feature on top of a rapidly-varying carrier. After merger, our results can be interpreted as a coherent excitation of quasinormal modes of different angular orders, a superposition which naturally "precesses" and modulates the line-of-sight amplitude. Recent analytic calculations have arrived at a similar geometric interpretation. We suspe...
Superkicks in Hyperbolic Encounters of Binary Black Holes
Healy, James; Hinder, Ian; Shoemaker, Deirdre M; Laguna, Pablo; Matzner, Richard A
2008-01-01
Generic inspirals and mergers of binary black holes produce beamed emission of gravitational radiation that can lead to a gravitational recoil or kick of the final black hole. The kick velocity depends on the mass ratio and spins of the binary as well as on the dynamics of the binary configuration. Studies have focused so far on the most astrophysically relevant configuration of quasi-circular inspirals, for which kicks as large as 3,300 km/s have been found. We present the first study of gravitational recoil in hyperbolic encounters. Contrary to quasi-circular configurations, in which the beamed radiation tends to average during the inspiral, radiation from hyperbolic encounters is plunge dominated, resulting in an enhancement of preferential beaming. As a consequence, it is possible to achieve kick velocities as large as 10,000 km/s.
Superkicks in hyperbolic encounters of binary black holes.
Healy, James; Herrmann, Frank; Hinder, Ian; Shoemaker, Deirdre M; Laguna, Pablo; Matzner, Richard A
2009-01-30
Generic inspirals and mergers of binary black holes produce beamed emission of gravitational radiation that can lead to a gravitational recoil or kick of the final black hole. The kick velocity depends on the mass ratio and spins of the binary as well as on the dynamics of the binary configuration. Studies have focused so far on the most astrophysically relevant configuration of quasicircular inspirals, for which kicks as large as approximately 3300 km s;(-1) have been found. We present the first study of gravitational recoil in hyperbolic encounters. Contrary to quasicircular configurations, in which the beamed radiation tends to average during the inspiral, radiation from hyperbolic encounters is plunge dominated, resulting in an enhancement of preferential beaming. As a consequence, it is possible in highly relativistic scatterings to achieve kick velocities as large as 10 000 km s;(-1). PMID:19257409
Binary black holes, gravitational waves, and numerical relativity
Centrella, Joan M [Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Baker, John G [Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Boggs, William D [University of Maryland, Department of Physics, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Kelly, Bernard J [Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); McWilliams, Sean T [University of Maryland, Department of Physics, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Meter, James R van [Center for Space Science and Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Physics Department, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250 (United States)
2007-07-15
The final merger of comparable mass binary black holes produces an intense burst of gravitational radiation and is one of the strongest sources for both ground-based and space-based gravitational wave detectors. Since the merger occurs in the strong-field dynamical regime of general relativity, numerical relativity simulations of the full Einstein equations in 3-D are required to calculate the resulting gravitational dynamics and waveforms. While this problem has been pursued for more than 30 years, the numerical codes have long been plagued by various instabilities and, overall, progress was incremental. Recently, however, dramatic breakthrough have occurred, resulting in robust simulations of merging black holes. In this paper, we examine these developments and the exciting new results that are emerging.
Binary Black Holes, Gravitational Waves, and Numerical Relativity
Centrella, Joan
2009-01-01
The final merger of two black holes releases a tremendous amount of energy and is one of the brightest sources in the gravitational wave sky. Observing these sources with gravitational wave detectors requires that we know the radiation waveforms they emit. Since these mergers take place in regions of very strong gravitational fields, we need to solve Einstein's equations of general relativity on a computer in order to calculate these waveforms. For more than 30 years, scientists have tried to compute these waveforms using the methods of numerical relativity. The resulting computer codes have been plagued by instabilities, causing them to crash well before the black holes in the binary could complete even a single orbit. Recently this situation has changed dramatically, with a series of amazing breakthroughs. This talk will take you on this quest for the holy grail of numerical relativity, showing how a spacetime is constructed on a computer to build a simulation laboratory for binary black hole mergers. We will focus on the recent advances that are revealing these waveforms, and the dramatic new potential for discoveries that arises when these sources will be observed by LIGO and LISA.
Long Term Evolution of Massive Black Hole Binaries
Milosavljevic, M; Milosavljevic, Milos; Merritt, David
2003-01-01
The long-term evolution of massive black hole binaries at the centers of galaxies is studied in a variety of physical regimes, with the aim of resolving the ``final parsec problem,'' i.e. how black hole binaries manage to shrink to separations at which emission of gravity waves becomes efficient. A binary ejects stars by the gravitational slingshot and carves out a loss cone in the host galaxy. Continued decay of the binary requires a refilling of the loss cone. We show that the standard treatment of loss cone refilling, derived for collisionally relaxed systems like globular clusters, can substantially underestimate the refilling rates in galactic nuclei. We derive expressions for non-equilibrium loss-cone dynamics and calculate time scales for the decay of massive black hole binaries following galaxy mergers, obtaining significantly higher decay rates than heretofore. Even in the absence of two-body relaxation, decay of binaries can persist due to repeated ejection of stars returning to the nucleus on eccen...
Electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational waves from black hole mergers and naked singularities
Malafarina, Daniele
2016-01-01
We consider the question here whether the proposed electromagnetic counterpart of the gravitational wave signals in binary black hole coalescence may be due to the appearance of a `short lived' naked singularity during the merger. We point out that the change in topology that the spacetime undergoes during the merger can cause the appearance of a naked singularity. In case some matter, in the form of a small accretion disk, is present in the surroundings of the black hole system then the emitted luminosity during the merger would allow to distinguish the scenario where the naked singularity forms from the scenario where the horizon exists at all times. In fact the emitted luminosity spectrum would be much higher in the case where a naked singularity forms as opposed to the `pure' black hole case. We suggest that the presence of such a transient naked singularity will explain the high luminosity of an electromagnetic counterpart during the merger much more easily.
Hybrid Black-Hole Binary Initial Data
Mundim, Bruno C.; Kelly, Bernard J.; Nakano, Hiroyuki; Zlochower, Yosef; Campanelli, Manuela
2010-01-01
"Traditional black-hole binary puncture initial data is conformally flat. This unphysical assumption is coupled with a lack of radiation signature from the binary's past life. As a result, waveforms extracted from evolutions of this data display an abrupt jump. In Kelly et al. [Class. Quantum Grav. 27:114005 (2010)], a new binary black-hole initial data with radiation contents derived in the post-Newtonian (PN) calculations was adapted to puncture evolutions in numerical relativity. This data satisfies the constraint equations to the 2.5PN order, and contains a transverse-traceless "wavy" metric contribution, violating the standard assumption of conformal flatness. Although the evolution contained less spurious radiation, there were undesired features; the unphysical horizon mass loss and the large initial orbital eccentricity. Introducing a hybrid approach to the initial data evaluation, we significantly reduce these undesired features."
Precessional instability in binary black holes with aligned spins
Gerosa, Davide; O'Shaughnessy, Richard; Klein, Antoine; Berti, Emanuele; Sperhake, Ulrich; Trifirò, Daniele
2015-01-01
Binary black holes on quasicircular orbits with spins aligned with their orbital angular momentum have been testbeds for analytic and numerical relativity for decades, not least because symmetry ensures that such configurations are equilibrium solutions to the spin-precession equations. In this work, we show that these solutions can be unstable when the spin of the higher-mass black hole is aligned with the orbital angular momentum and the spin of the lower-mass black hole is anti-aligned. Spins in these configurations are unstable to precession to large misalignment when the binary separation $r$ is between the values $r_{\\rm ud\\pm}= (\\sqrt{\\chi_1} \\pm \\sqrt{q \\chi_2})^4 (1-q)^{-2} M$, where $M$ is the total mass, $q \\equiv m_2/m_1$ is the mass ratio, and $\\chi_1$ ($\\chi_2$) is the dimensionless spin of the more (less) massive black hole. This instability exists for a wide range of spin magnitudes and mass ratios and can occur in the strong-field regime near merger. We describe the origin and nature of the i...
Compact Binaries in Star Clusters I - Black Hole Binaries Inside Globular Clusters
Downing, J. M. B.; Benacquista, M. J.; Giersz, M.; Spurzem, R.
2009-01-01
We study the compact binary population in star clusters, focusing on binaries containing black holes, using a self-consistent Monte Carlo treatment of dynamics and full stellar evolution. We find that the black holes experience strong mass segregation and become centrally concentrated. In the core the black holes interact strongly with each other and black hole-black hole binaries are formed very efficiently. The strong interactions, however, also destroy or eject the black hole-black hole bi...
Binary Black Holes, Numerical Relativity, and Gravitational Waves
Centrella, Joan
2007-01-01
The final merger of two black holes releases a tremendous amount of energy, more than the combined light from all the stars in the visible universe. This energy is emitted in the form of gravitational waves, and observing these sources with gravitational wave detectors such as LISA requires that we know the pattern or fingerprint of the radiation emitted. Since black hole mergers take place in regions of extreme gravitational fields, we need to solve Einstein's equations of general relativity on a computer in order to calculate these wave patterns. For more than 30 years, scientists have tried to compute these wave patterns. However, their computer codes have been plagued by problems that caused them to crash. This situation has changed dramatically in the past 2 years, with a series of amazing breakthroughs. This talk will take you on this quest for these gravitational wave patterns, showing how a spacetime is constructed on a computer to build a simulation laboratory for binary black hole mergers. We will focus on the recent advances that are revealing these waveforms, and the dramatic new potential for discoveries that arises when these sources will be observed by LISA
On the Gravitational Wave Background from Black Hole Binaries after the First LIGO Detections
Cholis, Ilias
2016-01-01
The detection of gravitational waves from the merger of binary black holes by the LIGO Collaboration has opened a new window to astrophysics. With the sensitivities of ground based detectors in the coming years we can only detect the local black hole binary mergers. The integrated merger rate can instead be probed by the gravitational-wave background, the incoherent superposition of the released energy in gravitational waves during binary-black-hole coalescence. Through that, the properties of the binary black holes can be studied. In this work we show that by measuring the energy density $\\Omega_{GW}$ (in units of the cosmic critical density) of the gravitational-wave background, we can search for the rare $\\sim 100 M_{\\odot}$ massive black holes formed in the Universe. In addition, we can answer how often the least massive BHs of mass $> 3 M_{\\odot}$ form. Finally, if there are multiple channels for the formation of binary black holes and if any of them predicts a narrow mass range for the black holes, then...
Mandel, Ilya
2016-01-01
We explore a newly proposed channel to create binary black holes of stellar origin. This scenario applies to massive, tight binaries where mixing induced by rotation and tides transports the products of hydrogen burning throughout the stellar envelopes. This slowly enriches the entire star with helium, preventing the build-up of an internal chemical gradient. The stars remain compact as they evolve nearly chemically homogeneously, eventually forming two black holes, which, we estimate, typically merge 4 to 11 Gyr after formation. Like other proposed channels, this evolutionary pathway suffers from significant theoretical uncertainties, but could be constrained in the near future by data from advanced ground-based gravitational-wave detectors. We perform Monte Carlo simulations of the expected merger rate over cosmic time to explore the implications and uncertainties. Our default model for this channel yields a local binary black hole merger rate of about $10$ Gpc$^{-3}$ yr$^{-1}$ at redshift $z=0$, peaking at...
Aligned spin neutron star-black hole mergers: A gravitational waveform amplitude model
Pannarale, Francesco; Berti, Emanuele; Kyutoku, Koutarou; Lackey, Benjamin D.; Shibata, Masaru
2015-10-01
The gravitational radiation emitted during the merger of a black hole with a neutron star is rather similar to the radiation from the merger of two black holes when the neutron star is not tidally disrupted. When tidal disruption occurs, gravitational waveforms can be broadly classified in two groups, depending on the spatial extent of the disrupted material. Extending previous work by some of us, here we present a phenomenological model for the gravitational waveform amplitude in the frequency domain encompassing the three possible outcomes of the merger: no tidal disruption, and "mild" and "strong" tidal disruption. The model is calibrated to 134 general-relativistic numerical simulations of binaries where the black hole spin is either aligned or antialigned with the orbital angular momentum. All simulations were produced using the SACRA code and piecewise polytropic neutron star equations of state. The present model can be used to determine when black-hole binary waveforms are sufficient for gravitational-wave detection, to extract information on the equation of state from future gravitational-wave observations, to obtain more accurate estimates of black hole-neutron star merger event rates, and to determine the conditions under which these systems are plausible candidates as central engines of gamma-ray bursts and macronovae/kilonovae.
Gravitational waves from binary black holes
Bala R Iyer
2011-07-01
It is almost a century since Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves as one of the consequences of his general theory of relativity. A brief historical overview including Chandrasekhar’s contribution to the subject is ﬁrst presented. The current status of the experimental search for gravitational waves and the attendant theoretical insights into the two-body problem in general relativity arising from computations of gravitational waves from binary black holes are then broadly reviewed.
Nuclear coups: dynamics of black holes in galaxy mergers
Van Wassenhove, Sandor; Volonteri, Marta; Dotti, Massimo; Bellovary, Jillian M; Mayer, Lucio; Governato, Fabio
2013-01-01
We study the dynamical evolution of supermassive black holes (BHs) in merging galaxies on scales of hundreds of kpc to 10 pc, to highlight and identify the physical processes that aid or hinder the orbital decay of BHs down to pc scale. We present hydrodynamical simulations of unequal-mass galaxy mergers ($G_1$ and $G_2$ are the larger and smaller galaxies, respectively), with a variety of orbital configurations, that bridge the gap between large-scale, low-resolution merger simulations and the small-scale, high-resolution simulations of BH-binary evolution. Our simulations resolve $<20$-pc scales in order to accurately track the motion of the nuclei and provide a realistic environment for the evolution of the BHs. We find that, during the late stages of the merger, tidal shocks inject energy in the nuclei ($N_1$ and $N_2$), causing one or both nuclei to be disrupted and leaving their BH 'naked', without any bound gas or stars. In many cases, the nucleus that is ultimately disrupted is $N_1$ ('nuclear coup...
Lupi, Alessandro; Dotti, Massimo; Colpi, Monica
2015-01-01
Mergers of gas-rich galaxies are key events in the hierarchical built-up of cosmic structures, and can lead to the formation of massive black hole binaries. By means of high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations we consider the late stages of a gas-rich major merger, detailing the dynamics of two circumnuclear discs, and of the hosted massive black holes during their pairing phase. During the merger gas clumps with masses of a fraction of the black hole mass form because of fragmentation. Such high-density gas is very effective in forming stars, and the most massive clumps can substantially perturb the black hole orbits. After $\\sim 10$ Myr from the start of the merger a gravitationally bound black hole binary forms at a separation of a few parsecs, and soon after, the separation falls below our resolution limit of $0.39$ pc. At the time of binary formation the original discs are almost completely disrupted because of SNa feedback, while on pc scales the residual gas settles in a circumbinary disc with mass $...
Lyapunov timescales and black hole binaries
Black hole binaries support unstable orbits at very close separations. In the simplest case of geodesics around a Schwarzschild black hole the orbits, though unstable, are regular. Under perturbation the unstable orbits can become the locus of chaos. All unstable orbits, whether regular or chaotic, can be quantified by their Lyapunov exponents. The exponents are observationally relevant since the phase of gravitational waves can decohere in a Lyapunov time. If the timescale for dissipation due to gravitational waves is shorter than the Lyapunov time, chaos will be damped and essentially unobservable. We find that the two timescales can be comparable. We emphasize that the Lyapunov exponents must only be used cautiously for several reasons: they are relative and depend on the coordinate system used, they vary from orbit to orbit, and finally they can be deceptively diluted by transient behaviour for orbits which pass in and out of unstable regions
Coalescence of Black Hole-Neutron Star Binaries
Masaru Shibata
2011-08-01
Full Text Available We review the current status of general relativistic studies for the coalescence of black hole-neutron star (BH-NS binaries. First, procedures for a solution of BH-NS binaries in quasi-equilibrium circular orbits and the numerical results, such as quasi-equilibrium sequence and mass-shedding limit, of the high-precision computation, are summarized. Then, the current status of numerical-relativity simulations for the merger of BH-NS binaries is described. We summarize our understanding for the merger and/or tidal disruption processes, the criterion for tidal disruption, the properties of the remnant formed after the tidal disruption, gravitational waveform, and gravitational-wave spectrum.
Electromagnetic Counterparts to Black Hole Mergers Detected by LIGO
Loeb, Abraham
2016-03-01
Mergers of stellar-mass black holes (BHs), such as GW150914 observed by Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), are not expected to have electromagnetic counterparts. However, the Fermi GBM detector identified a γ-ray transient 0.4 s after the gravitational wave (GW) signal GW150914 with consistent sky localization. I show that the two signals might be related if the BH binary detected by LIGO originated from two clumps in a dumbbell configuration that formed when the core of a rapidly rotating massive star collapsed. In that case, the BH binary merger was followed by a γ-ray burst (GRB) from a jet that originated in the accretion flow around the remnant BH. A future detection of a GRB afterglow could be used to determine the redshift and precise localization of the source. A population of standard GW sirens with GRB redshifts would provide a new approach for precise measurements of cosmological distances as a function of redshift.
Inspiralling, Non-Precessing, Spinning Black Hole Binary Spacetime via Asymptotic Matching
Ireland, Brennan; Nakano, Hiroyuki; Campanelli, Manuela
2015-01-01
We construct a new global, fully analytic, approximate spacetime which accurately describes the dynamics of non-precessing, spinning black hole binaries during the inspiral phase of the relativistic merger process. This approximate solution of the vacuum Einstein's equations can be obtained by asymptotically matching perturbed Kerr solutions near the two black holes to a post-Newtonian metric valid far from the two black holes. This metric is then matched to a post-Minkowskian metric even farther out in the wave zone. The procedure of asymptotic matching is generalized to be valid on all spatial hypersurfaces, instead of a small group of initial hypersurfaces discussed in previous works. This metric is well suited for long term dynamical simulations of spinning black hole binary spacetimes prior to merger, such as studies of circumbinary gas accretion which requires hundreds of binary orbits.
Inspiralling, spinning, non-precessing binary black hole spacetime via asymptotic matching
Ireland, Brennan; Mundim, Bruno; Nakano, Hiroyuki; Campanelli, Manuela
2016-03-01
We construct and present a new global, fully analytic, approximate spacetime which accurately describes the dynamics of non-precessing, spinning black hole binaries during the inspiral phase of the relativistic merger process. This approximate solution of the vacuum Einstein's equations can be obtained by asymptotically matching perturbed Kerr solutions near the two black holes to a post-Newtonian metric valid far from the two black holes. This metric is then matched to a post-Minkowskian metric even farther out in the wave zone. The procedure of asymptotic matching is generalized to be valid on all spatial hypersurfaces, instead of a small group of initial hypersurfaces discussed in previous works. This metric is well suited for long term dynamical simulations of spinning black hole binary spacetimes prior to merger, such as studies of circumbinary gas accretion which requires hundreds of binary orbits.
Entropic force in black hole binaries and its Newtonian limits
van Putten, Maurice H. P. M.
2011-01-01
We give an exact solution for the static force between two black holes at the turning points in their binary motion. The results are derived by Gibbs' principle and the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy applied to the apparent horizon surfaces in time-symmetric initial data. New power laws are derived for the entropy jump in mergers, while Newton's law is shown to derive from a new adiabatic variational principle for the Hilbert action in the presence of apparent horizon surfaces. In this approach, ...
Measuring Massive Black Hole Binaries with LISA
Lang, Ryan N.; Hughes, Scott A.; Cornish, Neil J.
2009-01-01
The coalescence of two massive black holes produces gravitational waves (GWs) which can be detected by the space-based detector LISA. By measuring these waves, LISA can determine the various parameters which characterize the source. Measurements of the black hole masses and spins will provide information about the growth of black holes and their host galaxies over time. Measurements of a source's sky position and distance may help astronomers identify an electromagnetic counterpart to the GW event. The counterpart's redshift, combined with the GW-measured luminosity distance, can then be used to measure the Hubble constant and the dark energy parameter $w$. Because the potential science output is so high, it is useful to know in advance how well LISA can measure source parameters for a wide range of binaries. We calculate expected parameter estimation errors using the well-known Fisher matrix method. Our waveform model includes the physics of spin precession, as well as subleading harmonics. When these higher-order effects are not included, strong degeneracies between some parameters cause them to be poorly determined by a GW measurement. When precession and subleading harmonics are properly included, the degeneracies are broken, reducing parameter errors by one to several orders of magnitude.
Numerical Relativity, Black Hole Mergers, and Gravitational Waves: Part III
Centrella, Joan
2012-01-01
This series of 3 lectures will present recent developments in numerical relativity, and their applications to simulating black hole mergers and computing the resulting gravitational waveforms. In this third and final lecture, we present applications of the results of numerical relativity simulations to gravitational wave detection and astrophysics.
Numerical Relativity, Black Hole Mergers, and Gravitational Waves: Part I
Centrella, Joan
2012-01-01
This series of 3 lectures will present recent developments in numerical relativity, and their applications to simulating black hole mergers and computing the resulting gravitational waveforms. In this first lecture, we introduce the basic ideas of numerical relativity, highlighting the challenges that arise in simulating gravitational wave sources on a computer.
Astrophysics of Super-massive Black Hole Mergers
Schnittman, Jeremy D.
2013-01-01
We present here an overview of recent work in the subject of astrophysical manifestations of super-massive black hole (SMBH) mergers. This is a field that has been traditionally driven by theoretical work, but in recent years has also generated a great deal of interest and excitement in the observational astronomy community. In particular, the electromagnetic (EM) counterparts to SMBH mergers provide the means to detect and characterize these highly energetic events at cosmological distances,...
Kamaretsos, Ioannis
2011-01-01
A perturbed black hole emits gravitational radiation, usually termed the ringdown signal, whose frequency and damping time depends on the mass and spin of the black hole. I investigate the case of a binary black hole merger resulting from two initially non-spinning black holes of various mass ratios, in quasi-circular orbits. The observed ringdown signal will be determined, among other things, by the black hole's spin-axis orientation with respect to Earth, its sky position and polarization angle - parameters which can take any values in a particular observation. I have carried out a statistical analysis of the effect of these variables, focusing on detection and measurement of the multimode ringdown signals using the reformulated European LISA mission, Next Gravitational-Wave Observatory, NGO, the third generation ground-based observatory, Einstein Telescope and the advanced era detector, aLIGO. To the extent possible I have discussed the effect of these results on plausible event rates, as well as astrophys...
Using Black Hole Mergers to Explore Structure Formation
Alicea-Munoz, E.; Miller, M. Coleman
2009-01-01
Observations of gravitational waves from massive black hole mergers will open a new window into the era of structure formation in the early universe. Past efforts have concentrated on calculating merger rates using different physical assumptions, resulting in merger rate estimates that span a wide range (0.1 - 10(exp 4) mergers/year). We develop a semi-analytical, phenomenological model of massive black hole mergers that includes plausible combinations of several physical parameters, which we then turn around to determine how well observations with the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will be able to enhance our understanding of the universe during the critical z approximately equal to 5-30 epoch. Our approach involves generating synthetic LISA observable data (total BH masses, BH mass ratios, redshifts, merger rates), which are then analyzed using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo method, thus finding constraints for the physical parameters of the mergers. We find that our method works well at estimating merger parameters and that the number of merger events is a key discriminant among models, therefore making our method robust against observational uncertainties. Our approach can also be extended to more physically-driven models and more general problems in cosmology. This work is supported in part by the Cooperative Education Program at NASA/GSFC.
Evolution of an Accretion Disk in Binary Black Hole Systems
Kimura, Shigeo S; Toma, Kenji
2016-01-01
We investigate evolution of an accretion disk in binary black hole (BBH) systems, the importance of which is now increasing due to its close relationship to possible electromagnetic counterparts of the gravitational waves (GWs) from mergers of BBHs. Perna et al. (2016) proposed a novel evolutionary scenario of an accretion disk in BBHs in which a disk eventually becomes "dead", i.e., the magnetorotational instability (MRI) becomes inactive. In their scenario, the dead disk survives until {\\it a few seconds before} the merger event. We improve the dead disk model and propose another scenario, taking account of effects of the tidal torque from the companion and the critical ionization degree for MRI activation more carefully. We find that the mass of the dead disk is much lower than that in the Perna's scenario. When the binary separation sufficiently becomes small, the tidal heating reactivates MRI and mass accretion onto the black hole (BH). We also find that this disk "revival" happens {\\it many years before...
Black Hole Mergers as Probes of Structure Formation
Alicea-Munoz, Emily
2008-01-01
Observations of gravitational waves from massive black hole (MBH) mergers can provide us with important clues about the era of structure formation in the early universe. Previous research in this field has been limited to calculating merger rates of MBHs using different models where many assumptions are made about the specific values of physical parameters of the mergers, resulting in merger rate estimates that span 5 to 6 orders of magnitude. We develop a semi-analytical, phenomenological model that includes plausible combinations of several physical parameters involved in the mergers. which we then turn around to determine how well LISA observations will be able to enhance our understanding of the universe during the critical z approximately equal to 5-30 structure formation era. We do this by generating synthetic LISA observable data (masses, redshifts, merger rates), which are then analyzed using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. This allows us to constrain the physical parameters of the mergers.
Astrophysics of super-massive black hole mergers
We present here an overview of recent work in the subject of astrophysical manifestations of super-massive black hole (SMBH) mergers. This is a field that has been traditionally driven by theoretical work, but in recent years has also generated a great deal of interest and excitement in the observational astronomy community. In particular, the electromagnetic (EM) counterparts to SMBH mergers provide the means to detect and characterize these highly energetic events at cosmological distances, even in the absence of a space-based gravitational-wave observatory. In addition to providing a mechanism for observing SMBH mergers, EM counterparts also give important information about the environments in which these remarkable events take place, thus teaching us about the mechanisms through which galaxies form and evolve symbiotically with their central black holes. (paper)
Astrophysics of Super-massive Black Hole Mergers
Schnittman, Jeremy D
2013-01-01
We present here an overview of recent work in the subject of astrophysical manifestations of super-massive black hole (SMBH) mergers. This is a field that has been traditionally driven by theoretical work, but in recent years has also generated a great deal of interest and excitement in the observational astronomy community. In particular, the electromagnetic (EM) counterparts to SMBH mergers provide the means to detect and characterize these highly energetic events at cosmological distances, even in the absence of a space-based gravitational-wave observatory. In addition to providing a mechanism for observing SMBH mergers, EM counterparts also give important information about the environments in which these remarkable events take place, thus teaching us about the mechanisms through which galaxies form and evolve symbiotically with their central black holes.
Astrophysics of Super-Massive Black Hole Mergers
Schnittman, Jeremy D.
2013-01-01
We present here an overview of recent work in the subject of astrophysical manifestations of super-massive black hole (SMBH) mergers. This is a field that has been traditionally driven by theoretical work, but in recent years has also generated a great deal of interest and excitement in the observational astronomy community. In particular, the electromagnetic (EM) counterparts to SMBH mergers provide the means to detect and characterize these highly energetic events at cosmological distances, even in the absence of a space-based gravitational-wave observatory. In addition to providing a mechanism for observing SMBH mergers, EM counterparts also give important information about the environments in which these remarkable events take place, thus teaching us about the mechanisms through which galaxies form and evolve symbiotically with their central black holes.
Neutrinos in mergers of neutron stars with black holes
Deaton, Michael Brett
Mergers of a neutron star and a black hole are interesting because of the dual complexity of the black hole's strong gravity and the neutron star's nuclear-density fluid. Mergers can yield short-lived nuclear accretion disks, emitting copious neutrinos. This radiation may change the thermodynamic state of the disk itself, may drive an ultrarelativistic jet of electrons and positrons, may oscillate in its flavor content, may irradiate surrounding matter, playing a role in nucleosynthesis, and may be detected directly. In this thesis I present a model of such a merger, its remnant accretion disk, and its neutrino emission. In particular, we evolve a neutron star---black hole merger through ˜100 ms, solving the full general relativistic hydrodynamics equations, from inspiral through merger and accretion epochs. We treat the neutrinos approximately, using a leakage framework, which accounts for local energy losses and composition drift in the fluid due to escaping neutrinos. We use geodesic ray tracing on a late time slice of the model to calculate the full spatial-, angular-, and energy-dependence of the neutrino distribution function around the accretion disk. This distribution then serves in a computation of the energy available to form a jet via neutrino-antineutrino annihilation in the disk funnel. In this scenario, we find that enough energy is deposited to drive a jet of short-gamma-ray-burst-energy by neutrino processes alone.
Modeling AGN outbursts from supermassive black hole binaries
Tanaka T.
2012-12-01
Full Text Available When galaxies merge to assemble more massive galaxies, their nuclear supermassive black holes (SMBHs should form bound binaries. As these interact with their stellar and gaseous environments, they will become increasingly compact, culminating in inspiral and coalescence through the emission of gravitational radiation. Because galaxy mergers and interactions are also thought to fuel star formation and nuclear black hole activity, it is plausible that such binaries would lie in gas-rich environments and power active galactic nuclei (AGN. The primary difference is that these binaries have gravitational potentials that vary – through their orbital motion as well as their orbital evolution – on humanly tractable timescales, and are thus excellent candidates to give rise to coherent AGN variability in the form of outbursts and recurrent transients. Although such electromagnetic signatures would be ideally observed concomitantly with the binary’s gravitational-wave signatures, they are also likely to be discovered serendipitously in wide-field, high-cadence surveys; some may even be confused for stellar tidal disruption events. I discuss several types of possible “smoking gun” AGN signatures caused by the peculiar geometry predicted for accretion disks around SMBH binaries.
Possible Short Gamma-Ray Bursts Associated with Black Hole - Black Hole Mergers
Zhang, Bing
2016-01-01
The discovery of GW 150914 suggests that double black hole (BH-BH) mergers are common in the universe. If at least one of the two merging black holes carries a small amount of charge, the inspiral of the BH-BH system would drive a magnetic dipole normal to the orbital plane. A magnetosphere would be developed, and the system would behave like a giant pulsar with increasing wind power. If the BH charge can be as large as a factor of $\\hat q \\sim 10^{-15}$ of the critical charge $Q_c$ of the BH, a detectable short-duration GRB would be generated right before the final coalescence. The GRB is supposed to have a short duration, nearly isotropic emission, and a delay with respect to the gravitational wave chirp signal. The putative short GRB coincident with GW 150914 detected with {\\em Fermi} GBM can be interpreted with this model. The detections or non-detections of such GRBs associated with future BH-BH merger gravitational wave sources would lead to constraints on the charges carried by isolate black holes.
In addition to producing loud gravitational waves, the dynamics of a binary black hole system could induce emission of electromagnetic radiation by affecting the behavior of plasmas and electromagnetic fields in their vicinity. We study how the electromagnetic fields are affected by a pair of orbiting black holes through the merger. In particular, we show how the binary's dynamics induce a variability in possible electromagnetically induced emissions as well as an enhancement of electromagnetic fields during the late-merge and merger epochs. These time dependent features will likely leave their imprint in processes generating detectable emissions and can be exploited in the detection of electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational waves.
Anatomy of the binary black hole recoil: A multipolar analysis
Schnittman, Jeremy D; van Meter, James R; Baker, John G; Boggs, William D; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J; McWilliams, Sean T
2007-01-01
We present a multipolar analysis of the gravitational recoil computed in recent numerical simulations of binary black hole (BH) coalescence, for both unequal masses and non-zero, non-precessing spins. We show that multipole moments up to and including l=4 are sufficient to accurately reproduce the final recoil velocity (within ~2%) and that only a few dominant modes contribute significantly to it (within ~5%). We describe how the relative amplitudes, and more importantly, the relative phases, of these few modes control the way in which the recoil builds up throughout the inspiral, merger, and ringdown phases. We also find that the numerical results can be reproduced by an ``effective Newtonian'' formula for the multipole moments obtained by replacing the radial separation in the Newtonian formulae with an effective radius computed from the numerical data. Beyond the merger, the numerical results are reproduced by a superposition of three Kerr quasi-normal modes (QNMs). Analytic formulae, obtained by expressin...
Observing Massive Black-hole Binaries With A Redesigned Lisa
McWilliams, Sean T.
2012-01-01
In response to recent events in NASA and ESA, which necessitate the redesign of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) to lower its cost, we present results of a design study that evaluates the impact of various redesigns on the study of massive black-hole binaries (MBHB). As a result of the shift in sensitivity towards higher frequencies in all of the redesigns, the final merger signal will be even more critical for characterizing the coalescence of MBHBs. We assess the achievable parameter accuracy of MBHB measurements with various redesign options, and how well we expect the final design choices to perform. We include spinning mergers with higher harmonics in our calculation, which was never previously included in LISA calculations, and highlights the need to include all of the available physics in order to recover any performance lost in the redesign.
Supermassive binary black holes - possible observational effects in the x-ray emission
Jovanović Predrag
2014-01-01
Full Text Available Here we discuss the possible observational effects in the X-ray emission from two relativistic accretion disks in a supermassive binary black hole system. For that purpose we developed a model and performed numerical simulations of the X-ray radiation from a relativistic accretion disk around a supermassive black hole, based on the ray-tracing method in the Kerr metric, and applied it to the case of the close binary supermassive black holes. Our results indicate that the broad Fe Kα line is a powerful tool for detecting such systems and studying their properties. The most favorable candidates for observational studies are the supermassive binary black holes in the galactic mergers during the phase when the orbital velocities of their components are very large and exceed several thousand kms -1. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 176003: Gravitation and the Large Scale Structure of the Universe i br. 176001: Astrophysical Spectroscopy of Extragalactic Objects
Statistical studies of spinning black-hole binaries
We study the statistical distributions of the spins of generic black-hole binaries during the inspiral and merger, as well as the distributions of the remnant mass, spin, and recoil velocity. For the inspiral regime, we start with a random uniform distribution of spin directions S-vector1 and S-vector2 over the sphere and magnitudes |S-vector1/m12|=|S-vector2/m22|=0.97 for different mass ratios, where S-vectori and mi are the spin-angular momentum and mass of the ith black hole. Starting from a fiducial initial separation of Ri=50M, we perform 3.5-post-Newtonian-order evolutions down to a separation of Rf=5M, where M=m1+m2, the total mass of the system. At this final fiducial separation, we compute the angular distribution of the spins with respect to the final orbital angular momentum, L-vector. We perform 164=65 536 simulations for six mass ratios between q=1 and q=1/16 and compute the distribution of the angles L-vector·Δ-vector and L-vector·S-vector, directly related to recoil velocities and total angular momentum. We find a small but statistically significant bias of the distribution towards counteralignment of both scalar products. A post-Newtonian analysis shows that radiation-reaction-driven dissipative effects on the orbital angular momentum lead to this bias. To study the merger of black-hole binaries, we turn to full numerical techniques. In order to make use of the numerous simulations now available in the literature, we introduce empirical formulas to describe the final remnant black-hole mass, spin, and recoil velocity for merging black-hole binaries with arbitrary mass ratios and spins. Our formulas are based on the post-Newtonian scaling, to model the plunge phase, with amplitude parameters chosen by a least-squares fit of recently available fully nonlinear numerical simulations, supplemented by inspiral losses from infinity to the innermost stable circular orbit. We then evaluate those formulas for randomly chosen directions of the individual
de Mink, S E
2016-01-01
We explore the predictions for detectable gravitational-wave signals from merging binary black holes formed through chemically homogeneous evolution in massive short-period stellar binaries. We find that ~500 events per year could be detected with advanced ground-based detectors operating at full sensitivity. We analyze the distribution of detectable events, and conclude that there is a very strong preference for detecting events with nearly equal components (mass ratio >0.66 at 90% confidence in our default model) and high masses (total source-frame mass between 57 and $103\\, M_\\odot$ at 90% confidence). We consider multiple alternative variations to analyze the sensitivity to uncertainties in the evolutionary physics and cosmological parameters, and conclude that while the rates are sensitive to assumed variations, the mass distributions are robust predictions. Finally, we consider the recently reported results of the analysis of the first 16 double-coincident days of the O1 LIGO observing run, and find tha...
Binary black holes in nuclei of extragalactic radio sources
Roland, J; Caproni, A; Fromm, C; Glück, C; Zensus, A
2013-01-01
If we assume that nuclei of extragalactic radio sources contain binary black hole systems, the two black holes can eject VLBI components in which case two families of different VLBI trajectories will be observed. Another important consequence of a binary black hole system is that the VLBI core is associated with one black hole, and if a VLBI component is ejected by the second black hole, one expects to be able to detect the offset of the origin of the VLBI component ejected by the black hole that is not associated with the VLBI core. The ejection of VLBI components is perturbed by the precession of the accretion disk and the motion of the black holes around the center of gravity of the binary black hole system. We modeled the ejection of the component taking into account the two pertubations and present a method to fit the coordinates of a VLBI component and to deduce the characteristics of the binary black hole system. Specifically, this is the ratio Tp/Tb where Tp is the precession period of the accretion d...
Statistical constraints on binary black hole inspiral dynamics
Galley, Chad R; Herrmann, Frank; Silberholz, John; Tiglio, Manuel [Department of Physics, Center for Fundamental Physics, Center for Scientific Computation and Mathematical Modeling, Joint Space Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Guerberoff, Gustavo, E-mail: tiglio@umd.ed [Facultad de IngenierIa, Instituto de Matematica y EstadIstica, ' Prof. Ing. Rafael Laguardia' , Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo (Uruguay)
2010-12-21
We perform a statistical analysis of binary black holes in the post-Newtonian approximation by systematically sampling and evolving the parameter space of initial configurations for quasi-circular inspirals. Through a principal component analysis of spin and orbital angular momentum variables, we systematically look for uncorrelated quantities and find three of them which are highly conserved in a statistical sense, both as functions of time and with respect to variations in initial spin orientations. For example, we find a combination of spin scalar products, 2S-circumflex{sub 1{center_dot}}S-circumflex{sub 2} + (S-circumflex{sub 1{center_dot}}L-circumflex) (S-circumflex{sub 2{center_dot}}L-circumflex), that is exactly conserved in time at the considered post-Newtonian order (including spin-spin and radiative effects) for binaries with equal masses and spin magnitudes evolving in a quasi-circular inspiral. We also look for and find the variables that account for the largest variations in the problem. We present binary black hole simulations of the full Einstein equations analyzing to what extent these results might carry over to the full theory in the inspiral and merger regimes. Among other applications these results should be useful both in semi-analytical and numerical building of templates of gravitational waves for gravitational wave detectors.
Statistical constraints on binary black hole inspiral dynamics
We perform a statistical analysis of binary black holes in the post-Newtonian approximation by systematically sampling and evolving the parameter space of initial configurations for quasi-circular inspirals. Through a principal component analysis of spin and orbital angular momentum variables, we systematically look for uncorrelated quantities and find three of them which are highly conserved in a statistical sense, both as functions of time and with respect to variations in initial spin orientations. For example, we find a combination of spin scalar products, 2S-circumflex1·S-circumflex2 + (S-circumflex1·L-circumflex) (S-circumflex2·L-circumflex), that is exactly conserved in time at the considered post-Newtonian order (including spin-spin and radiative effects) for binaries with equal masses and spin magnitudes evolving in a quasi-circular inspiral. We also look for and find the variables that account for the largest variations in the problem. We present binary black hole simulations of the full Einstein equations analyzing to what extent these results might carry over to the full theory in the inspiral and merger regimes. Among other applications these results should be useful both in semi-analytical and numerical building of templates of gravitational waves for gravitational wave detectors.
Jets from black hole binaries and Galactic Nuclei
Mirabel, I.F.
2000-01-01
Relativistic outflows are a common phenomenon in accreting black holes. Despite the enormous differences in scale, stellar-mass black holes in binaries and supermassive black holes in Galactic Nuclei produce jets with analogous properties. In both are observed two types of relativistic outflows: 1) steady compact jets with flat-spectrum, and 2) sporadic extended jets with steep-spectrum and apparent superluminal motions. Besides, the most common class of gamma-ray bursts are afterglows from u...
A simple method of constructing binary black hole initial data
Rácz, István
2016-01-01
By applying a parabolic-hyperbolic formulation of constraint equations and superposing Kerr-Schild black holes, a simple method is introduced to initialize time evolution of binary black hole systems. In constructing the initial data no use of boundary conditions in the strong field regime is made. The proposed new method offers a direct control on the ADM parameters of the composite system, and it could also be applied to construct initial data for multiple black holes.
Anatomy of the Binary Black Hole Recoil: A Multipolar Analysis
Schnittman, Jeremy; Buonanno, Alessandra; vanMeter, James R.; Baker, John G.; Boggs, William D.; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J.; McWilliams, Sean T.
2007-01-01
We present a multipolar analysis of the recoil velocity computed in recent numerical simulations of binary black hole coalescence, for both unequal masses and non-zero, non-precessing spins. We show that multipole moments up to and including 1 = 4 are sufficient to accurately reproduce the final recoil velocity (= 98%) and that only a few dominant modes contribute significantly to it (2 95%). We describe how the relative amplitude, and more importantly, the relative phase, of these few modes control the way in which the recoil builds up throughout the inspiral, merger, and ring-down phases. We also find that the numerical results can be reproduced, to a high level of accuracy, by an effective Newtonian formula for the multipole moments obtained by replacing in the Newtonian formula the radial separation with an effective radius computed from the numerical data. Beyond the merger, the numerical results are reproduced by a superposition of three Kerr quasi-normal modes. Analytic formulae, obtained by expressing the multipole moments in terms of the fundamental QNMs of a Kerr BH, are able to explain the onset and amount of '.anti-kick" for each of the simulations. Lastly, we apply this multipolar analysis to understand the remarkable difference between the amplitudes of planar and non-planar kicks for equal-mass spinning black holes.
Periastron advance in black-hole binaries.
Le Tiec, Alexandre; Mroué, Abdul H; Barack, Leor; Buonanno, Alessandra; Pfeiffer, Harald P; Sago, Norichika; Taracchini, Andrea
2011-09-30
The general relativistic (Mercury-type) periastron advance is calculated here for the first time with exquisite precision in full general relativity. We use accurate numerical relativity simulations of spinless black-hole binaries with mass ratios 1/8≤m(1)/m(2)≤1 and compare with the predictions of several analytic approximation schemes. We find the effective-one-body model to be remarkably accurate and, surprisingly, so also the predictions of self-force theory [replacing m(1)/m(2)→m(1)m(2)/(m(1)+m(2))(2)]. Our results can inform a universal analytic model of the two-body dynamics, crucial for ongoing and future gravitational-wave searches. PMID:22107182
Black holes in binary stellar systems and galactic nuclei
Cherepashchuk, A. M.
2014-04-01
In the last 40 years, following pioneering papers by Ya B Zeldovich and E E Salpeter, in which a powerful energy release from nonspherical accretion of matter onto a black hole (BH) was predicted, many observational studies of black holes in the Universe have been carried out. To date, the masses of several dozen stellar-mass black holes (M_BH = (4{-}20) M_\\odot) in X-ray binary systems and of several hundred supermassive black holes (M_BH = (10^{6}{-}10^{10}) M_\\odot) in galactic nuclei have been measured. The estimated radii of these massive and compact objects do not exceed several gravitational radii. For about ten stellar-mass black holes and several dozen supermassive black holes, the values of the dimensionless angular momentum a_* have been estimated, which, in agreement with theoretical predictions, do not exceed the limiting value a_* = 0.998. A new field of astrophysics, so-called black hole demography, which studies the birth and growth of black holes and their evolutionary connection to other objects in the Universe, namely stars, galaxies, etc., is rapidly developing. In addition to supermassive black holes, massive stellar clusters are observed in galactic nuclei, and their evolution is distinct from that of supermassive black holes. The evolutionary relations between supermassive black holes in galactic centers and spheroidal stellar components (bulges) of galaxies, as well as dark-matter galactic haloes are brought out. The launch into Earth's orbit of the space radio interferometer RadioAstron opened up the real possibility of finally proving that numerous discovered massive and highly compact objects with properties very similar to those of black holes make up real black holes in the sense of Albert Einstein's General Relativity. Similar proofs of the existence of black holes in the Universe can be obtained by intercontinental radio interferometry at short wavelengths \\lambda \\lesssim 1 mm (the international program, Event Horizon Telescope).
Tidal Disruption Events by a Massive Black Hole Binary
Ricarte, Angelo; Dai, Lixin; Coppi, Paolo
2015-01-01
Massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) are a natural byproduct of galaxy mergers. Previous studies have shown that flares from stellar tidal disruption events (TDEs) are modified by the presence of a secondary perturber, causing interruptions in the light curve. We study the dynamics of TDE debris in the presence of a milliparsec-separated MBHB by integrating ballistic particle orbits in the time-varying potential of the binary. We find that gaps in the light curve appear when material misses the accretion radius on its first return to pericentre. Subsequent recurrences can be decomposed into "continuous" and "delayed" components, which exhibit different behaviour. We find that this potential can substantially alter the locations of stream self-intersections. When debris is confined to the plane, we find that close encounters with the secondary BH leave noticeable signatures on the fallback rate and can result in significant accretion onto the secondary BH. Tight, equal-mass MBHBs accrete equally, periodically t...
Mergers of accreting stellar-mass black holes
Tagawa, Hiromichi; Gouda, Naoteru
2016-01-01
We present post-Newtonian $N$-body simulations on mergers of accreting stellar-mass black holes (BHs), where such general relativistic effects as the pericentre shift and gravitational wave emission are taken into consideration. To elucidate the key physics that regulates mergers of BHs, the dynamical friction and the mass accretion by ambient gas are incorporated. We consider a system composed of ten black holes with initial mass of $30~M_\\odot$. As a result, we show that mergers of accreting stellar-mass BHs are classified into four types: a gas drag-driven, an interplay-driven, a three body-driven, or an accretion-driven merger. We find that BH mergers proceed before significant mass accretion, even if the accretion rate is $\\sim10$ Eddington accretion rate, and then all BHs can merge into one heavy BH. More specifically, using the simulation results for a wide range of parameters, we derive a critical accretion rate ($\\dot{m}_{\\rm c}$), below which the BH growth is promoted faster by mergers: $\\dot{m}_{\\r...
Accurate Waveforms for Non-spinning Binary Black Holes using the Effective-one-body Approach
Buonanno, Alessandra; Pan, Yi; Baker, John G.; Centrella, Joan; Kelly, Bernard J.; McWilliams, Sean T.; vanMeter, James R.
2007-01-01
Using numerical relativity as guidance and the natural flexibility of the effective-one-body (EOB) model, we extend the latter so that it can successfully match the numerical relativity waveforms of non-spinning binary black holes during the last stages of inspiral, merger and ringdown. Here, by successfully, we mean with phase differences black-hole masses. The final black-hole mass and spin predicted by the numerical simulations are used to determine the ringdown frequency and decay time of three quasi-normal-mode damped sinusoids that are attached to the EOB inspiral-(plunge) waveform at the light-ring. The accurate EOB waveforms may be employed for coherent searches of gravitational waves emitted by non-spinning coalescing binary black holes with ground-based laser-interferometer detectors.
Tidal disruption events by a massive black hole binary
Ricarte, Angelo; Natarajan, Priyamvada; Dai, Lixin; Coppi, Paolo
2016-05-01
Massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) are a natural byproduct of galaxy mergers. Previous studies have shown that flares from stellar tidal disruption events (TDEs) are modified by the presence of a secondary perturber, causing interruptions in the light curve. We study the dynamics of TDE debris in the presence of a milliparsec-separated MBHB by integrating ballistic particle orbits in the time-varying potential of the binary. We find that gaps in the light curve appear when material misses the accretion radius on its first return to pericentre. Subsequent recurrences can be decomposed into `continuous' and `delayed' components, which exhibit different behaviour. We find that this potential can substantially alter the locations of stream self-intersections. When debris is confined to the plane, we find that close encounters with the secondary massive black hole (MBH) leave noticeable signatures on the fallback rate and can result in significant accretion on to the secondary MBH. Tight, equal-mass MBHBs accrete equally, periodically trading the infalling stream.
What can we learn about black-hole formation from black-hole X-ray binaries?
Nelemans, G.
2004-01-01
I discuss the effect of the formation of a black hole on a (close) binary and show some of the current constraints that the observed properties of black hole X-ray binaries put on the formation of black holes. In particular I discuss the evidence for and against asymmetric kicks imparted on the black hole at formation and find contradicting answers, as there seems to be evidence for kick for individual systems and from the Galactic $z$-distribution of black hole X-ray binaries, but not from t...
The formation and gravitational-wave detection of massive stellar black hole binaries
If binaries consisting of two ∼100 M☉ black holes exist, they would serve as extraordinarily powerful gravitational-wave sources, detectable to redshifts of z ∼ 2 with the advanced LIGO/Virgo ground-based detectors. Large uncertainties about the evolution of massive stars preclude definitive rate predictions for mergers of these massive black holes. We show that rates as high as hundreds of detections per year, or as low as no detections whatsoever, are both possible. It was thought that the only way to produce these massive binaries was via dynamical interactions in dense stellar systems. This view has been challenged by the recent discovery of several ≳ 150 M☉ stars in the R136 region of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Current models predict that when stars of this mass leave the main sequence, their expansion is insufficient to allow common envelope evolution to efficiently reduce the orbital separation. The resulting black hole-black hole binary remains too wide to be able to coalesce within a Hubble time. If this assessment is correct, isolated very massive binaries do not evolve to be gravitational-wave sources. However, other formation channels exist. For example, the high multiplicity of massive stars, and their common formation in relatively dense stellar associations, opens up dynamical channels for massive black hole mergers (e.g., via Kozai cycles or repeated binary-single interactions). We identify key physical factors that shape the population of very massive black hole-black hole binaries. Advanced gravitational-wave detectors will provide important constraints on the formation and evolution of very massive stars.
The formation and gravitational-wave detection of massive stellar black hole binaries
Belczynski, Krzysztof; Walczak, Marek [Astronomical Observatory, Warsaw University, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warsaw (Poland); Buonanno, Alessandra [Maryland Center for Fundamental Physics and Joint Space-Science Institute, Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Cantiello, Matteo [Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Kohn Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (United States); Fryer, Chris L. [Computational Computer Science Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Holz, Daniel E. [Enrico Fermi Institute, Department of Physics, and Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Mandel, Ilya [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Miller, M. Coleman, E-mail: kbelczyn@astrouw.edu.pl [Department of Astronomy and Joint Space-Science Institute University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States)
2014-07-10
If binaries consisting of two ∼100 M{sub ☉} black holes exist, they would serve as extraordinarily powerful gravitational-wave sources, detectable to redshifts of z ∼ 2 with the advanced LIGO/Virgo ground-based detectors. Large uncertainties about the evolution of massive stars preclude definitive rate predictions for mergers of these massive black holes. We show that rates as high as hundreds of detections per year, or as low as no detections whatsoever, are both possible. It was thought that the only way to produce these massive binaries was via dynamical interactions in dense stellar systems. This view has been challenged by the recent discovery of several ≳ 150 M{sub ☉} stars in the R136 region of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Current models predict that when stars of this mass leave the main sequence, their expansion is insufficient to allow common envelope evolution to efficiently reduce the orbital separation. The resulting black hole-black hole binary remains too wide to be able to coalesce within a Hubble time. If this assessment is correct, isolated very massive binaries do not evolve to be gravitational-wave sources. However, other formation channels exist. For example, the high multiplicity of massive stars, and their common formation in relatively dense stellar associations, opens up dynamical channels for massive black hole mergers (e.g., via Kozai cycles or repeated binary-single interactions). We identify key physical factors that shape the population of very massive black hole-black hole binaries. Advanced gravitational-wave detectors will provide important constraints on the formation and evolution of very massive stars.
A simple estimate of gravitational wave memory in binary black hole systems
Garfinkle, David
2016-09-01
A simple estimate is given of gravitational wave memory for the inspiral and merger of a binary black hole system. Here the memory is proportional to the total energy radiated and has a simple angular dependence. Estimates of this sort might be helpful as a consistency check for numerical relativity memory waveforms.
A simple estimate of gravitational wave memory in binary black hole systems
Garfinkle, David
2016-01-01
A simple estimate is given of gravitational wave memory for the inspiral and merger of a binary black hole system. Here the memory is proportional to the total energy radiated and has a simple angular dependence. This estimate might be helpful in finding better numerical relativity memory waveforms.
Recent progress in numerical relativity now allows computation of the binary black-hole merger, whereas post-Newtonian and perturbative techniques can be used to model the inspiral and ringdown phases. So far, most gravitational-wave searches have made use of various post-Newtonian-inspired templates to search for signals arising from the coalescence of compact binary objects. Ajith et al have produced hybrid waveforms for non-spinning binary black-hole systems which include the three stages of the coalescence process, and constructed from them phenomenological templates which capture the features of these waveforms in a parametrized form. As a first step towards extending the present inspiral searches to higher-mass binary black-hole systems, we have used these phenomenological waveforms in a search for numerically simulated signals injected into synthetic LIGO data as part of the NINJA project.
Gravitational Radiation Characteristics of Nonspinning Black-Hole Binaries
Kelly, Barnard
2008-01-01
"We present a detailed descriptive analysis of the gravitational radiation from binary mergers of non-spinning black holes, based on numerical relativity simulations of systems varying from equal-mass to a 6:1 mass ratio. Our analysis covers amplitude and phase characteristics of the radiation, suggesting a unified picture of the waveforms' dominant features in terms of an implicit rotating source. applying uniformly to the full wavetrain, from inspiral through ringdown. We construct a model of the late-stage frequency evolution that fits the $\\ell = m$ modes, and identify late-time relationships between waveform frequency and amplitude. These relationships allow us to construct a predictive model for the late-time waveforms, an alternative to the common practice of modelling by a sum of quasinormal mode overtones. We demonstrate an application of this in a new effective-one-body-based analytic waveform model."
Gravitational radiation characteristics of nonspinning black-hole binaries
Kelly, B J; Baker, J G; Boggs, W D; Centrella, J M; Meter, J R van; McWilliams, S T, E-mail: bernard.j.kelly@nasa.go, E-mail: john.g.baker@nasa.go, E-mail: william.d.boggs@nasa.go, E-mail: joan.m.centrella@nasa.go, E-mail: james.r.vanmeter@nasa.go, E-mail: sean.t.mcwilliams@nasa.go [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD 20771 (United States)
2009-03-01
We present a detailed descriptive analysis of the gravitational radiation from binary mergers of non-spinning black holes, based on numerical relativity simulations of systems varying from equal-mass to a 6:1 mass ratio. Our analysis covers amplitude and phase characteristics of the radiation, suggesting a unified picture of the waveforms' dominant features in terms of an implicit rotating source, applying uniformly to the full wavetrain, from inspiral through ringdown. We construct a model of the late-stage frequency evolution that fits the l = m modes, and identify late-time relationships between waveform frequency and amplitude. These relationships allow us to construct a predictive model for the late-time waveforms, an alternative to the common practice of modelling by a sum of quasinormal mode overtones. We demonstrate an application of this in a new effective-one-body-based analytic waveform model.
Gravitational radiation characteristics of nonspinning black-hole binaries
We present a detailed descriptive analysis of the gravitational radiation from binary mergers of non-spinning black holes, based on numerical relativity simulations of systems varying from equal-mass to a 6:1 mass ratio. Our analysis covers amplitude and phase characteristics of the radiation, suggesting a unified picture of the waveforms' dominant features in terms of an implicit rotating source, applying uniformly to the full wavetrain, from inspiral through ringdown. We construct a model of the late-stage frequency evolution that fits the l = m modes, and identify late-time relationships between waveform frequency and amplitude. These relationships allow us to construct a predictive model for the late-time waveforms, an alternative to the common practice of modelling by a sum of quasinormal mode overtones. We demonstrate an application of this in a new effective-one-body-based analytic waveform model.
Effects of Magnetic Field Topology in Black Hole-Neutron Star Mergers: Long-Term Simulations
Wan, Mew-Bing
2016-01-01
We report long-term simulations of black hole-neutron star binary mergers where the neutron star possesses an asymmetric magnetic field dipole. Focusing on the scenario where the neutron star is tidally disrupted by the black hole, we track the evolution of the binary up to $\\approx 100$ms after merger. We uncover more than one episode of thermally driven winds being launched along a funnel wall in all these cases beginning from $\\approx 25$ms after merger. The emission rate of the second wind episode is found to increase with the degree of asymmetry. A large-scale poloidal magnetic field configuration is formed along the funnel wall accompanied by the generation of a large Poynting flux. The magnetic field in the accretion disk around the black hole remnant is amplified by the non-axisymmetric magneto-rotational instability. However, the asymmetry in the magnetic field leads to increased turbulence which causes the poloidal magnetic field in the accretion disk to grow largely in a non-linear manner.
Hydro-without-hydro framework for simulations of black hole-neutron star binaries
We introduce a computational framework which avoids solving explicitly hydrodynamic equations and is suitable for studying the pre-merger evolution of black hole-neutron star binary systems. The essence of the method consists of constructing a neutron star model with a black hole companion and freezing the internal degrees of freedom of the neutron star during the course of the evolution of the spacetime geometry. We present the main ingredients of the framework, from the formulation of the problem to the appropriate computational techniques to study these binary systems. In addition, we present numerical results of the construction of initial data sets and evolutions that demonstrate the feasibility of this approach