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Explaining LIGO’s observations via isolated binary evolution with natal kicks

Wysocki, Daniel and Gerosa, Davide and O’Shaughnessy, Richard and Belczynski, Krzysztof and Gladysz, Wojciech and Berti, Emanuele and Kesden, Michael and Holz, Daniel E. (2018) Explaining LIGO’s observations via isolated binary evolution with natal kicks. Physical Review D, 97 (4). Art. No. 043014. ISSN 2470-0010.

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We compare binary evolution models with different assumptions about black-hole natal kicks to the first gravitational-wave observations performed by the LIGO detectors. Our comparisons attempt to reconcile merger rate, masses, spins, and spin-orbit misalignments of all current observations with state-of-the-art formation scenarios of binary black holes formed in isolation. We estimate that black holes (BHs) should receive natal kicks at birth of the order of σ ≃ 200 (50) km/s if tidal processes do (not) realign stellar spins. Our estimate is driven by two simple factors. The natal kick dispersion σ is bounded from above because large kicks disrupt too many binaries (reducing the merger rate below the observed value). Conversely, the natal kick distribution is bounded from below because modest kicks are needed to produce a range of spin-orbit misalignments. A distribution of misalignments increases our models’ compatibility with LIGO’s observations, if all BHs are likely to have natal spins. Unlike related work which adopts a concrete BH natal spin prescription, we explore a range of possible BH natal spin distributions. Within the context of our models, for all of the choices of σ used here and within the context of one simple fiducial parameterized spin distribution, observations favor low BH natal spin.

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Additional Information:© 2018 American Physical Society. Received 8 September 2017; published 23 February 2018. We thank Christopher Berry, Simon Stevenson, and Will Farr for helpful comments on the draft. D. W. is supported by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) through the Frontiers in Gravitational Wave Astrophysics (FGWA) Signature Interdisciplinary Research Areas (SIRA) initiative and College of Science (COS). R. O. is supported by NSF Grants No. AST-1412449, PHY-1505629, and PHY-1607520. D. G. is supported 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. E. B. is supported by NSF Grants No. PHY-1607130 and AST-1716715, and by FCT contract IF/00797/2014/CP1214/CT0012 under the IF2014 Programme. M. K. is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant No. FG-2015-65299 and NSF Grant No. PHY-1607031. R. O. and E. B. acknowledge the hospitality of the Aspen Center for Physics, supported by NSF PHY-1607611, where this work was completed. K. B. acknowledges support from the Polish National Science Center (NCN) grant: Sonata Bis 2 (DEC-2012/07/E/ST9/01360). D. E. H. was partially supported by NSF CAREER Grant No. PHY-1151836 and NSF Grant No. PHY-1708081. He was also supported by the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago through NSF Grant No. PHY-1125897 and an endowment from the Kavli Foundation. Computations were performed on the Caltech computer cluster “Wheeler,” supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and Caltech. Partial support is acknowledged by NSF CAREER Award PHY-1151197. The authors thank to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration for access to the data and gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and Advanced LIGO as well as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom, and the Max-Planck-Society (MPS) for support of the construction of Advanced LIGO. Additional support for Advanced LIGO was provided by the Australian Research Council.
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Rochester Institute of TechnologyUNSPECIFIED
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF6-170152
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)IF/00797/2014/CP1214/CT0012
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationFG-2015-65299
National Science Centre (Poland)DEC-2012/07/E/ST9/01360
Kavli FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180226-072516859
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Official Citation:Explaining LIGO’s observations via isolated binary evolution with natal kicks Daniel Wysocki, Davide Gerosa, Richard O’Shaughnessy, Krzysztof Belczynski, Wojciech Gladysz, Emanuele Berti, Michael Kesden, and Daniel E. Holz Phys. Rev. D 97, 043014 – Published 23 February 2018
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:84945
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Feb 2018 18:21
Last Modified:26 Feb 2018 18:21

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