[1101.4684] Mergers of Supermassive Black Holes in Astrophysical Environments

Authors: Tanja Bode, Tamara Bogdanovic, Roland Haas, James Healy, Pablo Laguna, Deirdre Shoemaker

Date: 24 Jan 2011

Abstract: Modeling the late inspiral and merger of supermassive black holes is central to understanding accretion processes and the conditions under which electromagnetic emission accompanies gravitational waves. We use fully general relativistic, hydrodynamics simulations to investigate how electromagnetic signatures correlate with black hole spins, mass ratios, and the gaseous environment in this final phase of binary evolution. In all scenarios, we find some form of characteristic electromagnetic variability whose pattern depends on the spins and binary mass ratios. Binaries in hot accretion flows exhibit a flare followed by a sudden drop in luminosity associated with the plunge and merger, as well as quasi-periodic oscillations correlated with the gravitational waves during the inspiral. Conversely, circumbinary disk systems are characterized by a low luminosity of variable emission, suggesting challenging prospects for their detection.

abs pdf

Jan 26, 2011

1101.4684 (/preprints)
2011-01-26, 16:14 [edit]

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