We study the process of mass segregation through 2-body relaxation in galactic nuclei with a central massive black hole (MBH). This study has bearing on a variety of astrophysical questions, from the distribution of X-ray binaries at the Galactic centre, to tidal disruptions of main- sequence and giant stars, to inspirals of compact objects into the MBH, an important category of events for the future space borne gravitational wave interferometer LISA. In relatively small galactic nuclei, typical hosts of MBHs with masses in the range 10 4 - 107 M⊙, the relaxation induces the formation of a steep density cusp around the MBH and strong mass segregation. Using a spherical stellar dynamical Monte-Carlo code, we simulate the long-term relaxational evolution of galactic nucleus models with a spectrum of stellar masses. Our focus is the concentration of stellar black holes to the immediate vicinity of the MBH. Special attention is given to models developed to match the conditions in the Milky Way nucleus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)