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Spin orientations of merging black holes formed from the evolution of stellar binaries

Gerosa, Davide and Berti, Emanuele and O’Shaughnessy, Richard and Belczynski, Krzysztof and Kesden, Michael and Wysocki, Daniel and Gladysz, Wojciech (2018) Spin orientations of merging black holes formed from the evolution of stellar binaries. Physical Review D, 98 (8). Art. No. 084036. ISSN 2470-0010.

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We study the expected spin misalignments of merging binary black holes formed in isolation by combining state-of-the-art population-synthesis models with efficient post-Newtonian evolutions, thus tracking sources from stellar formation to gravitational-wave detection. We present extensive predictions of the properties of sources detectable by both current and future interferometers. We account for the fact that detectors are more sensitive to spinning black-hole binaries with suitable spin orientations and find that this significantly impacts the population of sources detectable by LIGO, while this is not the case for third-generation detectors. We find that three formation pathways, differentiated by the order of core collapse and common-envelope phases, dominate the observed population, and that their relative importance critically depends on the recoils imparted to black holes at birth. Our models suggest that measurements of the “effective-spin” parameter χ_(eff) will allow for powerful constraints. For instance, we find that the role of spin magnitudes and spin directions in χ_(eff) can be largely disentangled, and that the symmetry of the effective-spin distribution is a robust indicator of the binary’s formation history. Our predictions for individual spin directions and their precessional morphologies confirm and extend early toy models, while exploring substantially more realistic and broader sets of initial conditions. Our main conclusion is that specific subpopulations of black-hole binaries will exhibit distinctive precessional dynamics: these classes include (but are not limited to) sources where stellar tidal interactions act on sufficiently short timescales, and massive binaries produced in pulsational pair-instability supernovae. Measurements of black-hole spin orientations have enormous potential to constrain specific evolutionary processes in the lives of massive binary stars.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Gerosa, Davide0000-0002-0933-3579
Berti, Emanuele0000-0003-0751-5130
Kesden, Michael0000-0002-5987-1471
Additional Information:© 2018 American Physical Society. Received 6 August 2018; published 18 October 2018. We thank Christopher Berry, Sofia Maria Consonni, Jakub Klencki, Nathan Steinle and Colm Talbot for useful discussions and technical help. D. G. is supported by NASA through Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant No. PF6-170152 awarded by the Chandra X-ray Center, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for NASA under Contract No. NAS8-03060. E. B. is supported by NSF Grants No. PHY-1841464 and No. AST-1841358, and by NSF-XSEDE Grant No. PHY-090003. R. O. S. and D. W. gratefully acknowledge NSF Grant No. PHY-1707965. K. B. acknowledges support from the Polish National Science Center (NCN) Grants Sonata Bis 2 DEC-2012/07/E/ST9/01360, No. LOFT/eXTP 2013/10/M/ST9/00729 and No. OPUS 2015/19/B/ST9/01099. M. K. is supported by NSF Grant No. PHY-1607031. D. W. gratefully acknowledges support from the College of Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. This work has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant Agreement No. 690904. Some of the computations were performed on the Caltech cluster Wheeler, supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and Caltech.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF6-170152
National Science Centre (Poland)DEC-2012/07/E/ST9/01360
National Science Centre (Poland)LOFT/eXTP 2013/10/M/ST9/00729
National Science Centre (Poland)OPUS 2015/19/B/ST9/01099
Rochester Institute of TechnologyUNSPECIFIED
Marie Curie Fellowship690904
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181023-105237575
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90362
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Oct 2018 19:39
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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