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Title: Quasi-periodicity of Supermassive Binary Black Hole Accretion Approaching Merger

Abstract

In this paper we continue the first ever study of magnetized mini-disks coupled to circumbinary accretion in a supermassive binary black hole (SMBBH) approaching merger reported in Bowen et al. We extend this simulation from 3 to 12 binary orbital periods. We find that relativistic SMBBH accretion acts as a resonant cavity, where quasi-periodic oscillations tied to the frequency at which the black hole's (BH's) orbital phase matches a nonlinear m = 1 density feature, or "lump," in the circumbinary accretion disk permeate the system. Here, the rate of mass accretion onto each of the mini-disks around the BHs is modulated at the beat frequency between the binary frequency and the lump's mean orbital frequency, i.e., $${{\rm{\Omega }}}_{\mathrm{beat}}={{\rm{\Omega }}}_{\mathrm{bin}}-{\bar{{\rm{\Omega }}}}_{\mathrm{lump}}$$, while the total mass accretion rate of this equal-mass binary is modulated at two different frequencies, $$\gtrsim {\bar{{\rm{\Omega }}}}_{\mathrm{lump}}$$ and $$\approx 2{{\rm{\Omega }}}_{\mathrm{beat}}$$. The instantaneous rotation rate of the lump itself is also modulated at two frequencies close to the modulation frequencies of the total accretion rate, $${\bar{{\rm{\Omega }}}}_{\mathrm{lump}}$$ and $$2{{\rm{\Omega }}}_{\mathrm{beat}}$$. Because of the compact nature of the mini-disks in SMBBHs approaching merger, the inflow times within the mini-disks are comparable to the period on which their mass supply varies, so that their masses—and the accretion rates they supply to their BHs—are strongly modulated at the same frequency. In essence, the azimuthal symmetry of the circumbinary disk is broken by the dynamics of orbits near a binary, and this m = 1 asymmetry then drives quasi-periodic variation throughout the system, including both accretion and disk-feeding. In SMBBHs approaching merger, such time variability could introduce distinctive, increasingly rapid, fluctuations in their electromagnetic emission.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Rochester Inst. of Technology, Rochester, NY (United States)
  2. Rochester Inst. of Technology, Rochester, NY (United States)
  3. The Univ. of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK (United States); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States)
  4. Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1565906
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-19-23363
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357; TRN: US2000942
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 879; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Black hole Physics; magnetohydrodynamics; accretion; accretion disks

Citation Formats

Bowen, Dennis B., Mewes, Vassilios, Noble, Scott C., Avara, Mark, Campanelli, Manuela, and Krolik, Julian H. Quasi-periodicity of Supermassive Binary Black Hole Accretion Approaching Merger. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab2453.
Bowen, Dennis B., Mewes, Vassilios, Noble, Scott C., Avara, Mark, Campanelli, Manuela, & Krolik, Julian H. Quasi-periodicity of Supermassive Binary Black Hole Accretion Approaching Merger. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab2453.
Bowen, Dennis B., Mewes, Vassilios, Noble, Scott C., Avara, Mark, Campanelli, Manuela, and Krolik, Julian H. Mon . "Quasi-periodicity of Supermassive Binary Black Hole Accretion Approaching Merger". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab2453. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1565906.
@article{osti_1565906,
title = {Quasi-periodicity of Supermassive Binary Black Hole Accretion Approaching Merger},
author = {Bowen, Dennis B. and Mewes, Vassilios and Noble, Scott C. and Avara, Mark and Campanelli, Manuela and Krolik, Julian H.},
abstractNote = {In this paper we continue the first ever study of magnetized mini-disks coupled to circumbinary accretion in a supermassive binary black hole (SMBBH) approaching merger reported in Bowen et al. We extend this simulation from 3 to 12 binary orbital periods. We find that relativistic SMBBH accretion acts as a resonant cavity, where quasi-periodic oscillations tied to the frequency at which the black hole's (BH's) orbital phase matches a nonlinear m = 1 density feature, or "lump," in the circumbinary accretion disk permeate the system. Here, the rate of mass accretion onto each of the mini-disks around the BHs is modulated at the beat frequency between the binary frequency and the lump's mean orbital frequency, i.e., ${{\rm{\Omega }}}_{\mathrm{beat}}={{\rm{\Omega }}}_{\mathrm{bin}}-{\bar{{\rm{\Omega }}}}_{\mathrm{lump}}$, while the total mass accretion rate of this equal-mass binary is modulated at two different frequencies, $\gtrsim {\bar{{\rm{\Omega }}}}_{\mathrm{lump}}$ and $\approx 2{{\rm{\Omega }}}_{\mathrm{beat}}$. The instantaneous rotation rate of the lump itself is also modulated at two frequencies close to the modulation frequencies of the total accretion rate, ${\bar{{\rm{\Omega }}}}_{\mathrm{lump}}$ and $2{{\rm{\Omega }}}_{\mathrm{beat}}$. Because of the compact nature of the mini-disks in SMBBHs approaching merger, the inflow times within the mini-disks are comparable to the period on which their mass supply varies, so that their masses—and the accretion rates they supply to their BHs—are strongly modulated at the same frequency. In essence, the azimuthal symmetry of the circumbinary disk is broken by the dynamics of orbits near a binary, and this m = 1 asymmetry then drives quasi-periodic variation throughout the system, including both accretion and disk-feeding. In SMBBHs approaching merger, such time variability could introduce distinctive, increasingly rapid, fluctuations in their electromagnetic emission.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/ab2453},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 2,
volume = 879,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

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Cited by: 3 works
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Works referenced in this record:

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Mergers of Supermassive Black Holes in Astrophysical Environments
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Massive Binary Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei and Their Path to Coalescence
journal, July 2014


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journal, April 1979

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  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/186.4.799

The Final-Parsec Problem in the Collisionless Limit
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DYNAMICS OF CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS. III. THE CASE OF GG Tau A
journal, August 2016


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Dynamic fisheye grids for binary black hole simulations
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Binary black hole mergers in gaseous disks: Simulations in general relativity
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Hydrodynamic Torques in Circumbinary Accretion Disks
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Inspiralling, nonprecessing, spinning black hole binary spacetime via asymptotic matching
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Resolving the relative influence of strong field spacetime dynamics and MHD on circumbinary disk physics
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Hydrodynamics of Circumbinary Accretion: Angular Momentum Transfer and Binary Orbital Evolution
journal, January 2019


Characteristic signatures in the thermal emission from accreting binary black holes
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General Relativistic Simulations of Magnetized Plasmas Around Merging Supermassive Black Holes
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GW151226: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a 22-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence
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Small-scale inviscid accretion discs around black holes
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Relativistic Dynamics and Mass Exchange in Binary Black Hole Mini-disks
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Direct Imaging of Bridged Twin Protoplanetary Disks in a Young Multiple Star
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Estimating the Prompt Electromagnetic Luminosity of a Black hole Merger
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Spin flips in generic black hole binaries
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Spin flips and precession in black-hole-binary mergers
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Binary Black-Hole Mergers in Magnetized Disks: Simulations in Full General Relativity
journal, November 2012


Global mhd Simulations of Accretion Disks in Cataclysmic Variables. i. the Importance of Spiral Shocks
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Relativistic boost as the cause of periodicity in a massive black-hole binary candidate
journal, September 2015

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Observational Signatures of Binary Supermassive Black Holes
journal, April 2014

  • Roedig, Constanze; Krolik, Julian H.; Miller, M. Coleman
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 785, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/785/2/115

Binary black hole accretion during inspiral and merger
journal, December 2014

  • Farris, Brian D.; Duffell, Paul; MacFadyen, Andrew I.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 447, Issue 1
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Understanding possible electromagnetic counterparts to loud gravitational wave events: Binary black hole effects on electromagnetic fields
journal, April 2010


Approximate black hole binary spacetime via asymptotic matching
journal, April 2014


Massive black hole binary mergers in dynamical galactic environments
journal, October 2016

  • Kelley, Luke Zoltan; Blecha, Laura; Hernquist, Lars
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 464, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw2452

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    The Final-Parsec Problem in the Collisionless Limit
    journal, August 2015


    Resolving the relative influence of strong field spacetime dynamics and MHD on circumbinary disk physics
    journal, January 2015


    Modelling circumbinary gas flows in close T Tauri binaries★: Circumbinary gas flows in T Tauri binaries
    journal, March 2011


    Galactic Nuclei as Collapsed Old Quasars
    journal, August 1969


    Quasi-periodic Behavior of Mini-disks in Binary Black Holes Approaching Merger
    journal, January 2018

    • Bowen, Dennis B.; Mewes, Vassilios; Campanelli, Manuela
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 853, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aaa756

    A transition in circumbinary accretion discs at a binary mass ratio of 1:25
    journal, April 2016

    • D'Orazio, Daniel J.; Haiman, Zoltán; Duffell, Paul
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 459, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw792

    Binary Black hole Accretion from a Circumbinary Disk: gas Dynamics Inside the Central Cavity
    journal, February 2014


    Collisionless loss-cone refilling: there is no final parsec problem
    journal, October 2016

    • Gualandris, Alessia; Read, Justin I.; Dehnen, Walter
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 464, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw2528

    Binary Black-Hole Mergers in Magnetized Disks: Simulations in Full General Relativity
    journal, November 2012


    Binary black hole accretion during inspiral and merger
    journal, December 2014

    • Farris, Brian D.; Duffell, Paul; MacFadyen, Andrew I.
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 447, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slu184

    The Afterglow of Massive Black Hole Coalescence
    journal, March 2005

    • Milosavljević, Miloš; Phinney, E. S.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 622, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1086/429618

    Binary black hole mergers in gaseous disks: Simulations in general relativity
    journal, July 2011


    Circumbinary Magnetohydrodynamic Accretion into Inspiraling Binary Black Holes
    journal, July 2012

    • Noble, Scott C.; Mundim, Bruno C.; Nakano, Hiroyuki
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 755, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637x/755/1/51

    Three-Dimensional mhd Simulation of Circumbinary Accretion Disks. ii. net Accretion rate
    journal, July 2015


    Swift Coalescence of Supermassive Black Holes in Cosmological Mergers of Massive Galaxies
    journal, September 2016

    • Khan, Fazeel Mahmood; Fiacconi, Davide; Mayer, Lucio
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 828, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.3847/0004-637x/828/2/73

    Estimating the Prompt Electromagnetic Luminosity of a Black hole Merger
    journal, January 2010


    Wide nutation: binary black-hole spins repeatedly oscillating from full alignment to full anti-alignment
    journal, April 2019

    • Gerosa, Davide; Lima, Alicia; Berti, Emanuele
    • Classical and Quantum Gravity, Vol. 36, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.1088/1361-6382/ab14ae

    Inspiralling, nonprecessing, spinning black hole binary spacetime via asymptotic matching
    journal, May 2016


    Relativistic Mergers of Supermassive Black Holes and Their Electromagnetic Signatures
    journal, May 2010


    Relativistic boost as the cause of periodicity in a massive black-hole binary candidate
    journal, September 2015

    • D'Orazio, Daniel J.; Haiman, Zoltán; Schiminovich, David
    • Nature, Vol. 525, Issue 7569
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature15262

    Gravitational waves from binary supermassive black holes missing in pulsar observations
    journal, September 2015


    Relativistic Dynamics and Mass Exchange in Binary Black Hole Mini-disks
    journal, March 2017

    • Bowen, Dennis B.; Campanelli, Manuela; Krolik, Julian H.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 838, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa63f3

    Dynamic fisheye grids for binary black hole simulations
    journal, February 2014


    GW170104: Observation of a 50-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence at Redshift 0.2
    journal, June 2017


    Dynamics of binary-disk interaction. 1: Resonances and disk gap sizes
    journal, January 1994

    • Artymowicz, Pawel; Lubow, Stephen H.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 421
    • DOI: 10.1086/173679

    Hydrodynamics of Circumbinary Accretion: Angular Momentum Transfer and Binary Orbital Evolution
    journal, January 2019


    Characteristic signatures in the thermal emission from accreting binary black holes
    journal, November 2014

    • Farris, Brian D.; Duffell, Paul; MacFadyen, Andrew I.
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 446, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slu160

    Observational Signatures of Binary Supermassive Black Holes
    journal, April 2014

    • Roedig, Constanze; Krolik, Julian H.; Miller, M. Coleman
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 785, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637x/785/2/115

    The ∇·B=0 Constraint in Shock-Capturing Magnetohydrodynamics Codes
    journal, July 2000


    Spinning-black-hole binaries: The orbital hang-up
    journal, August 2006


    Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger
    journal, February 2016


    An Eccentric Circumbinary Accretion Disk and the Detection of Binary Massive Black Holes
    journal, January 2008

    • MacFadyen, Andrew I.; Milosavljević, Miloš
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 672, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1086/523869

    Hydrodynamic Torques in Circumbinary Accretion Disks
    journal, April 2019

    • Moody, Mackenzie S. L.; Shi, Ji-Ming; Stone, James M.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 875, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab09ee

    Massive black hole binary mergers in dynamical galactic environments
    journal, October 2016

    • Kelley, Luke Zoltan; Blecha, Laura; Hernquist, Lars
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 464, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw2452

    Direct Imaging of Bridged Twin Protoplanetary Disks in a Young Multiple Star
    journal, November 2009


    Global mhd Simulations of Accretion Disks in Cataclysmic Variables. i. the Importance of Spiral Shocks
    journal, May 2016


    Massive black hole binaries in active galactic nuclei
    journal, September 1980

    • Begelman, M. C.; Blandford, R. D.; Rees, M. J.
    • Nature, Vol. 287, Issue 5780
    • DOI: 10.1038/287307a0

    Understanding possible electromagnetic counterparts to loud gravitational wave events: Binary black hole effects on electromagnetic fields
    journal, April 2010


    Approximate black hole binary spacetime via asymptotic matching
    journal, April 2014


    Direct Calculation of the Radiative Efficiency of an Accretion disk Around a Black hole
    journal, February 2009


    Unstable flip-flopping spinning binary black holes
    journal, June 2016


    Massive Binary Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei and Their Path to Coalescence
    journal, July 2014


    Massive black hole binary mergers within subparsec scale gas discs
    journal, March 2009


    Accretion disks around binary black holes of unequal mass: General relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations near decoupling
    journal, March 2014


    Accretion into the central cavity of a circumbinary disc
    journal, October 2013

    • D'Orazio, Daniel J.; Haiman, Zoltán; MacFadyen, Andrew
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 436, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt1787

    Tidal torques on accretion discs in binary systems with extreme mass ratios
    journal, April 1979

    • Lin, D. N. C.; Papaloizou, J.
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 186, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/186.4.799

    The properties of external accretion discs
    journal, February 1991


    Efficient Merger of Binary Supermassive Black Holes in Merging Galaxies
    journal, April 2011

    • Khan, Fazeel Mahmood; Just, Andreas; Merritt, David
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 732, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637x/732/2/89

    Small-scale inviscid accretion discs around black holes
    journal, May 2001


    Rotating Black Holes: Locally Nonrotating Frames, Energy Extraction, and Scalar Synchrotron Radiation
    journal, December 1972

    • Bardeen, James M.; Press, William H.; Teukolsky, Saul A.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 178
    • DOI: 10.1086/151796

    Spin flips and precession in black-hole-binary mergers
    journal, March 2007


    Flip-Flopping Binary Black Holes
    journal, April 2015


    DYNAMICS OF CIRCUMSTELLAR DISKS. III. THE CASE OF GG Tau A
    journal, August 2016


    Mergers of Supermassive Black Holes in Astrophysical Environments
    journal, December 2011


    Mass Flow through Gaps in Circumbinary Disks
    journal, August 1996

    • Artymowicz, Pawel; Lubow, Stephen H.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 467, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1086/310200

    GW170608: Observation of a 19 Solar-mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence
    journal, December 2017


    Magnetically Driven Accretion Flows in the Kerr Metric. IV. Dynamical Properties of the Inner Disk
    journal, April 2005

    • Krolik, Julian H.; Hawley, John F.; Hirose, Shigenobu
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 622, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1086/427932

    Three-Dimensional Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Circumbinary Accretion Disks: disk Structures and Angular Momentum Transport
    journal, March 2012


    Hydrodynamics of galaxy mergers with supermassive black holes: is there a last parsec problem?
    journal, January 2013

    • Chapon, Damien; Mayer, Lucio; Teyssier, Romain
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 429, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sts568

    A model of accretion disks in close binaries
    journal, September 1977

    • Paczynski, B.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 216
    • DOI: 10.1086/155526

    Minidisks in Binary Black Hole Accretion
    journal, January 2017


    Spin flips in generic black hole binaries
    journal, February 2016


    General Relativistic Simulations of Magnetized Plasmas Around Merging Supermassive Black Holes
    journal, May 2012


    The late inspiral of supermassive black hole binaries with circumbinary gas discs in the LISA band
    journal, February 2018

    • Tang, Yike; Haiman, Zoltán; MacFadyen, Andrew
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 476, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty423

    Tidal torques on accretion discs in close binary systems
    journal, December 1977

    • Papaloizou, J.; Pringle, J. E.
    • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 181, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/181.3.441

    Electromagnetic Emission from Supermassive Binary Black Holes Approaching Merger
    journal, October 2018

    • d’Ascoli, Stéphane; Noble, Scott C.; Bowen, Dennis B.
    • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 865, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aad8b4

    Redistribution of angular momentum by nonaxisymmetric instabilities in a thick accretion disk
    journal, September 1986

    • Zurek, W. H.; Benz, W.
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    • DOI: 10.1086/164483

    GW151226: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a 22-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence
    journal, June 2016


    Upgraded antennas for pulsar observations in the Argentine Institute of Radio astronomy
    journal, January 2020