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Gravitational Waves from Binary Black Hole Mergers Inside of Stars

Fedrow, Joseph M. and Ott, Christian D. and Sperhake, Ulrich and Blackman, Jonathan and Haas, Roland and Reisswig, Christian and De Felice, Antonio (2017) Gravitational Waves from Binary Black Hole Mergers Inside of Stars. Physical Review Letters, 119 (17). Art. No. 171103. ISSN 0031-9007. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.171103.

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We present results from a controlled numerical experiment investigating the effect of stellar density gas on the coalescence of binary black holes (BBHs) and the resulting gravitational waves (GWs). This investigation is motivated by the proposed stellar core fragmentation scenario for BBH formation and the associated possibility of an electromagnetic counterpart to a BBH GW event. We employ full numerical relativity coupled with general-relativistic hydrodynamics and set up a 30+30  M⊙ BBH (motivated by GW150914) inside gas with realistic stellar densities. Our results show that at densities ρ≳10^6–10^7  g cm^(−3) dynamical friction between the BHs and gas changes the coalescence dynamics and the GW signal in an unmistakable way. We show that for GW150914, LIGO observations appear to rule out BBH coalescence inside stellar gas of ρ≳10^7  g cm^(−3). Typical densities in the collapsing cores of massive stars are in excess of this density. This excludes the fragmentation scenario for the formation of GW150914.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ott, Christian D.0000-0003-4993-2055
Sperhake, Ulrich0000-0002-3134-7088
Blackman, Jonathan0000-0002-7113-0289
Haas, Roland0000-0003-1424-6178
Additional Information:© 2017 American Physical Society. Received 25 April 2017; revised manuscript received 24 August 2017; published 24 October 2017. We thank M. Sasaki, G. Domènech, K. Kiuchi, M. Shibata, K. Ioka, T. Tanaka, E. Schnetter, E. Firing, T. Bogdanovic, and N. Deruelle for discussions. This research is partially supported by MEXT, IRU-AFS, NSF Grants No. ACI-1550514, No. CAREER PHY-1151197, and No. PHY-1404569; and ERC-2014-CoG 646597, MSCA-RISE-2015 690904, and STFC ST/L000636/1. We used the matplotlib Python package [48] for the figures. The simulations were performed on the cluster Wheeler, supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and Caltech, and on supercomputers of the NSF XSEDE network under allocation TG-PHY100033 and TG-PHY090003.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)UNSPECIFIED
International Research Unit of Advanced Future StudiesUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)2014-CoG 646597
MSCARISE2015 690904
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/L000636/1
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:17
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170718-135919962
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:79161
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:18 Jul 2017 22:02
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 17:45

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