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Title: STEADY-STATE RELATIVISTIC STELLAR DYNAMICS AROUND A MASSIVE BLACK HOLE

A massive black hole (MBH) consumes stars whose orbits evolve into the small phase-space volume of unstable orbits, the “loss cone,” which take them into the MBH, or close enough to interact strongly with it. The resulting phenomena, e.g., tidal heating and disruption, binary capture and hyper-velocity star ejection, gravitational wave (GW) emission by inspiraling compact remnants, or hydrodynamical interactions with an accretion disk, can produce observable signatures and thereby reveal the MBH, affect its mass and spin evolution, test strong gravity, and probe stars and gas near the MBH. These continuous stellar loss and resupply processes shape the central stellar distribution. We investigate relativistic stellar dynamics near the loss cone of a non-spinning MBH in steady state, analytically and by Monte Carlo simulations of the diffusion of the orbital parameters. These take into account Newtonian mass precession due to enclosed stellar mass, in-plane precession due to general relativity, dissipation by GW, uncorrelated two-body relaxation, correlated resonant relaxation (RR), and adiabatic invariance due to secular precession, using a rigorously derived description of correlated post-Newtonian dynamics in the diffusion limit. We argue that general maximal entropy considerations strongly constrain the orbital diffusion in steady state, irrespective of the relaxation mechanism. Wemore » identify the exact phase-space separatrix between plunges and inspirals, and predict their steady-state rates. We derive the dependence of the rates on the mass of the MBH, show that the contribution of RR in steady state is small, and discuss special cases where unquenched RR in restricted volumes of phase-space may affect the steady state substantially.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute of Science, P.O. Box 26, Rehovot 76100 (Israel)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518532
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 820; 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; ACCRETION DISKS; ADIABATIC INVARIANCE; BLACK HOLES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DIFFUSION; ENTROPY; GALAXY NUCLEI; GENERAL RELATIVITY THEORY; GRAVITATIONAL WAVES; MASS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; ORBITS; PHASE SPACE; PRECESSION; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; RELAXATION; SPIN; STARS; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS