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Dynamically formed black hole+millisecond pulsar binaries in globular clusters

Clausen, Drew and Sigurdsson, Steinn and Chernoff, David F. (2014) Dynamically formed black hole+millisecond pulsar binaries in globular clusters. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 442 (1). pp. 207-219. ISSN 0035-8711.

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The discovery of a binary comprising a black hole (BH) and a millisecond pulsar (MSP) would yield insights into stellar evolution and facilitate exquisitely sensitive tests of general relativity. Globular clusters (GCs) are known to harbour large MSP populations and recent studies suggest that GCs may also retain a substantial population of stellar mass BHs. We modelled the formation of BH+MSP binaries in GCs through exchange interactions between binary and single stars. We found that in dense, massive clusters most of the dynamically formed BH+MSP binaries will have orbital periods of 2–10 d, regardless of the mass of the BH, the number of BHs retained by the cluster, and the nature of the GC's binary population. The size of the BH+MSP population is sensitive to several uncertain parameters, including the BH mass function, the BH retention fraction, and the binary fraction in GCs. Based on our models, we estimate that there are 0.6 ± 0.2 dynamically formed BH+MSP binaries in the Milky Way GC system, and place an upper limit on the size of this population of ∼10. Interestingly, we find that BH+MSP binaries will be rare even if GCs retain large BH populations.

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Additional Information:© 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2014 April 29. Received 2014 April 25; in original form 2014 March 13. First published online June 4, 2014. We thank E. S. Phinney, Francois Foucart, and Lawrence E. Kidder for valuable discussion. We also thank the referee for an insightful review that helped us improve the paper. SS and DFC thank the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics for their hospitality. SS thanks the Aspen Center for Physics. DC acknowledges support from NSF grant AST-1205732.
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Subject Keywords:black hole physics; stars: neutron; pulsars: general; globular clusters: general
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140807-141713155
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48193
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Aug 2014 21:23
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:01

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