Authors: Symeon Konstantinidis, Pau Amaro-Seoane, Kostas D. Kokkotas
Date: 25 Aug 2011
Abstract: Contrary to supermassive and stellar-mass black holes (SBHs), the existence of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) with masses ranging between 100 and 10,000 Msun has not yet been confirmed. The main problem in the detection is that the innermost stellar kinematics of globular clusters (GCs), the natural loci to IMBHs, are very difficult to resolve. However, if IMBHs reside in the center of GCs, a possibility is that they interact dynamically with their enviroment. A binary formed with the IMBH and a compact object of the GC would naturally lead to a prominent source of gravitational radiation, detectable with future observatories. We run for the first time direct-summation integrations of GCs with an IMBH including the dynamical evolution of the IMBH with the stellar system and relativistic effects, such as energy loss in gravitational waves (GWs) and periapsis shift, and gravitational recoil. We find in one of our models an intermediate-mass ratio inspiral (IMRI), which leads to a merger with a recoiling velocity higher than the escape velocity of the GC. The GWs emitted fall in the range of frequencies that a LISA-like observatory could detect, like the European eLISA or in mission options considered in the recent preliminary mission study conducted in China. The merger has an impact on the global dynamics of the cluster, as an important heating source is removed when the merged system leaves the GC. The detection of one IMRI would constitute a test of GR, as well as an irrefutable proof of the existence of IMBHs.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis