A Caltech Library Service

Evolutionary roads leading to low effective spins, high black hole masses, and O1/O2 rates for LIGO/Virgo binary black holes

Belczynski, K. and Klencki, J. and Fields, C. E. and Olejak, A. and Berti, E. and Meynet, G. and Fryer, C. L. and Holz, D. E. and O’Shaughnessy, R. and Brown, D. A. and Bulik, T. and Leung, S. C. and Nomoto, K. and Madau, P. and Hirschi, R. and Kaiser, E. and Jones, S. and Mondal, S. and Chruslinska, M. and Drozda, P. and Gerosa, D. and Doctor, Z. and Giersz, M. and Ekstrom, S. and Georgy, C. and Askar, A. and Baibhav, V. and Wysocki, D. and Natan, T. and Farr, W. M. and Wiktorowicz, G. and Coleman Miller, M. and Farr, B. and Lasota, J.-P. (2020) Evolutionary roads leading to low effective spins, high black hole masses, and O1/O2 rates for LIGO/Virgo binary black holes. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 636 . Art. No. A104. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201936528.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


All ten LIGO/Virgo binary black hole (BH-BH) coalescences reported following the O1/O2 runs have near-zero effective spins. There are only three potential explanations for this. If the BH spin magnitudes are large, then: (i) either both BH spin vectors must be nearly in the orbital plane or (ii) the spin angular momenta of the BHs must be oppositely directed and similar in magnitude. Then there is also the possibility that (iii) the BH spin magnitudes are small. We consider the third hypothesis within the framework of the classical isolated binary evolution scenario of the BH-BH merger formation. We test three models of angular momentum transport in massive stars: a mildly efficient transport by meridional currents (as employed in the Geneva code), an efficient transport by the Tayler-Spruit magnetic dynamo (as implemented in the MESA code), and a very-efficient transport (as proposed by Fuller et al.) to calculate natal BH spins. We allow for binary evolution to increase the BH spins through accretion and account for the potential spin-up of stars through tidal interactions. Additionally, we update the calculations of the stellar-origin BH masses, including revisions to the history of star formation and to the chemical evolution across cosmic time. We find that we can simultaneously match the observed BH-BH merger rate density and BH masses and BH-BH effective spins. Models with efficient angular momentum transport are favored. The updated stellar-mass weighted gas-phase metallicity evolution now used in our models appears to be key for obtaining an improved reproduction of the LIGO/Virgo merger rate estimate. Mass losses during the pair-instability pulsation supernova phase are likely to be overestimated if the merger GW170729 hosts a BH more massive than 50 M⊙. We also estimate rates of black hole-neutron star (BH-NS) mergers from recent LIGO/Virgo observations. If, in fact. angular momentum transport in massive stars is efficient, then any (electromagnetic or gravitational wave) observation of a rapidly spinning BH would indicate either a very effective tidal spin up of the progenitor star (homogeneous evolution, high-mass X-ray binary formation through case A mass transfer, or a spin- up of a Wolf-Rayet star in a close binary by a close companion), significant mass accretion by the hole, or a BH formation through the merger of two or more BHs (in a dense stellar cluster).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Leung, S. C.0000-0002-4972-3803
Additional Information:© 2020 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 20 August 2019; Accepted 5 March 2020; Published online 24 April 2020. Our updated models of BH-BH, BH-NS and NS-NS mergers are now publicly available at under the tab “Download/2020: Double Compact Objects/Belczynski et al. 2020” We have benefited from comments from Selma de Mink, Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, Ilya Mandel, Thomas Janka, Serena Repetto, Simon Stevenson, Sambaran Banerjee, Tom Maccarone, Craig Heinke, Phil Charles, Doron Kushnir, Tsvi Piran, Miguel Holgado, Antonio Claret, Tassos Fragos, Philipp Podsiadlowski, and Matt Benacquista. We would like to thank thousands of Universe@home users that have provided their personal computers and phones for our simulations, and in particular to Krzysztof Piszczek (program IT managers). KB acknowledges support from the Polish National Science Center (NCN) grant Maestro (2018/30/A/ST9/00050) and KB, SM and JPL from the NCN grant OPUS (2015/19/B/ST9/01099). JK and MC acknowledge support from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). C.E.F. acknowledges support from a Pre-doctoral Fellowship administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation, an Edward J Petry Graduate Fellowship from Michigan State University, and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under grant number DGE1424871. MG ans AA were partially supported by the National Science Centre, Poland, through the grant UMO-2016/23/B/ST9/02732. This work has been supported by the EU COST Action CA16117 (ChETEC). RH, KN, KB acknowledge support from the World Premier International Research Centre Initiative (WPI Initiative), MEXT, Japan. D.G. is supported by Leverhulme Trust Grant No. RPG-2019-350 and by NASA through Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant No. PF6-170152 awarded by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for NASA under contract NAS8-03060. TB acknowledges support from the Polish National Science Center (NCN) Grant No. UMO-2014/14/M/ST9/00707. EB is supported by NSF Grants No. PHY-1607130, AST-1716715, and by FCT contract IF/00797/2014/CP1214/CT0012 under the IF2014 Programme. C.G., G.M., and S.E. acknowledge support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (project number 200020-160119). ROS is supported by NSF AST-1412449, PHY-1505629, and PHY-1607520. DAB acknowledges support from National Science Foundation Grant No. PHY-1404395. G.W. is partly supported by the President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences under grant no.2018PM0017 and by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Science Multi-waveband Gravitational Wave Universe (Grant No. XDB23040000). AA is supported by the Carl Tryggers Foundation for Scientific Research through the grant CTS 17:113. MCM acknowledges support by NASA grant 80NSSC18K0527. This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. NSF PHY-1748958 to KITP UC Santa Barbara. Several authors (KB, EB, CLF, DAB, DEH, RO, KN, MCM, GM, JPL) were supported by KITP UC Santa Barbara to work on this project. JPL was supported by a grant from the French Space Agency CNES. S.C.L acknowledges support by the funding HST-AR-15021.001-A. DEH was partially supported by NSF grant PHY-1708081, and also by the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago through an endowment from the Kavli Foundation. He also gratefully acknowledges support from a Marion and Stuart Rice Award. We thank the Niels Bohr Institute for its hospitality while part of this work was completed, and acknowledge the Kavli Foundation and the DNRF for supporting the 2017 Kavli Summer Program.
Group:TAPIR, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Science Centre (Poland)2018/30/A/ST9/00050
National Science Centre (Poland)2015/19/B/ST9/01099
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)UNSPECIFIED
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and MedicineUNSPECIFIED
Ford FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Michigan State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1424871
National Science Centre (Poland)UMO-2016/23/B/ST9/02732
European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)CA16117
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)UNSPECIFIED
Leverhulme TrustRPG-2019-350
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF6-170152
National Science Centre (Poland)UMO-2014/14/M/ST9/00707
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)IF/00797/2014/CP1214/CT0012
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)200020-160119
Chinese Academy of Sciences2018PM0017
Chinese Academy of SciencesXDB23040000
Carl Tryggers Foundation for Scientific ResearchCTS 17:113
University of California, Santa BarbaraUNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-AR-15021.001-A
University of ChicagoUNSPECIFIED
Kavli FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Marion and Stuart Rice AwardUNSPECIFIED
Danish National Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stars: massive – black hole physics – gravitational waves
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200424-105232318
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Evolutionary roads leading to low effective spins, high black hole masses, and O1/O2 rates for LIGO/Virgo binary black holes. K. Belczynski, J. Klencki, C. E. Fields, A. Olejak, E. Berti, G. Meynet, C. L. Fryer, D. E. Holz, R. O’Shaughnessy, D. A. Brown, T. Bulik, S. C. Leung, K. Nomoto, P. Madau, R. Hirschi, E. Kaiser, S. Jones, S. Mondal, M. Chruslinska, P. Drozda, D. Gerosa, Z. Doctor, M. Giersz, S. Ekstrom, C. Georgy, A. Askar, V. Baibhav, D. Wysocki, T. Natan, W. M. Farr, G. Wiktorowicz, M. Coleman Miller, B. Farr and J.-P. Lasota. A&A, 636 (2020) A104; DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102775
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Apr 2020 18:46
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:15

Repository Staff Only: item control page