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Title: The formation and gravitational-wave detection of massive stellar black hole binaries

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 densemore » 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.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. Astronomical Observatory, Warsaw University, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warsaw (Poland)
  2. Maryland Center for Fundamental Physics and Joint Space-Science Institute, Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)
  3. Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Kohn Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (United States)
  4. Computational Computer Science Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States)
  5. Enrico Fermi Institute, Department of Physics, and Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)
  6. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom)
  7. Department of Astronomy and Joint Space-Science Institute University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365698
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 789; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BINARY STARS; BLACK HOLES; DETECTION; EVOLUTION; EXPANSION; FORECASTING; GIANT STARS; GRAVITATIONAL WAVE DETECTORS; GRAVITATIONAL WAVES; INTERACTIONS; MAGELLANIC CLOUDS; MASS; MULTIPLICITY; RED SHIFT; STARS