University of Heidelberg

Talk Details

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - 3:15pm

Jonathan Downing:

"Black Hole Binary Merger Rates in Star Clusters"

Abstract. The inspiral and merger of compact binaries will be major detection events for interferometric gravitational wave observatories. The merger rate of compact binaries has been calculated in the galactic field using population synthesis modelling but interactions between stars in dense stellar environments may substantially enhance the merger rates. We study the compact binary population in star clusters using a Monte Carlo code to simulate the dynamical interactions and a full treatment of stellar evolution. We find that the black hole population mass segregates and interacts strongly with itself. This enhances the number of black hole black hole binaries in the cluster, however, due to the strong interactions most of these binaries are ejected and we find no mergers in the cluster. Many of the ejected black hole binaries will merge in the galactic field within a Hubble time and produce a promising rate of detections for the next generation of ground-based gravitational wave detectors. We also find a few highly eccentric binaries that may be detectable by the space-based gravitational wave detector LISA.

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