BINARY BLACK HOLES in DENSE STAR CLUSTERS: EXPLORING the THEORETICAL UNCERTAINTIES

Sourav Chatterjee, Carl L. Rodriguez, Frederic A. Rasio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent N-body simulations predict that large numbers of stellar black holes (BHs) could at present remain bound to globular clusters (GCs), and merging BH-BH binaries are produced dynamically in significant numbers. We systematically vary "standard" assumptions made by numerical simulations related to, e.g., BH formation, stellar winds, binary properties of high-mass stars, and IMF within existing uncertainties, and study the effects on the evolution of the structural properties of GCs, and the BHs in GCs. We find that variations in initial assumptions can set otherwise identical initial clusters on completely different evolutionary paths, significantly affecting their present observable properties, or even affecting the cluster's very survival to the present. However, these changes usually do not affect the numbers or properties of local BH-BH mergers. The only exception is that variations in the assumed winds and IMF can change the masses and numbers of local BH-BH mergers, respectively. All other variations (e.g., in initial binary properties and binary fraction) leave the masses and numbers of locally merging BH-BH binaries largely unchanged. This is in contrast to binary population synthesis models for the field, where results are very sensitive to many uncertain parameters in the initial binary properties and binary stellar-evolution physics. Weak winds are required for producing GW150914-like mergers from GCs at low redshifts. LVT151012 can be produced in GCs modeled both with strong and weak winds. GW151226 is lower-mass than typical mergers from GCs modeled with weak winds, but is similar to mergers from GCs modeled with strong winds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number68
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume834
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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Keywords

  • black hole physics
  • globular clusters: general
  • methods: numerical
  • methods: statistical
  • stars: black holes
  • stars: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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