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Mergers of Supermassive Black Holes in Astrophysical Environments

Bode, Tanja and Bogdanovic, Tamara and Haas, Roland and Healy, James and Laguna, Pablo and Shoemaker, Deirdre (2012) Mergers of Supermassive Black Holes in Astrophysical Environments. Astrophysical Journal, 744 (1). ISSN 0004-637X.

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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.

Item Type:Article
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Haas, Roland0000-0003-1424-6178
Additional Information:Copyright IOP Publishing. Received 2011 January 24, accepted for publication 2011 September 14. Published 2011 December 13. We thank the anonymous referee for thoughtful comments which helped to improve this manuscript. T. Bogdanovi´c is supported by a NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship Award PF9-00061 from Chandra X-ray Observatory Center operated by Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for and on behalf of NASA contract NAS8-03060. This work is supported by NSF grants 0653443, 0855892, 0914553, 0941417, 0903973, and 0955825. Computations at Teragrid TG-MCA08X009 and Georgia Tech FoRCE cluster.
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NASA Einstein Postdoctoral FellowshipPF9-00061
Subject Keywords:acccretion, accretion disks, black hole physics, gravitational waves
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130307-144339404
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Official Citation:Tanja Bode et al. 2012 ApJ 744 45 doi:10.1088/0004-637X/744/1/45
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37383
Deposited By: JoAnn Boyd
Deposited On:27 Mar 2013 18:24
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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