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Journal Article

Fast coalescence of massive black hole binaries from mergers of galactic nuclei: implications for low-frequency gravitational-wave astrophysics

MPS-Authors

Preto,  Miguel
AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

1102.4855
(Preprint), 414KB

APJL_732_2_L26.pdf
(Any fulltext), 358KB

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Citation

Preto, M., Berentzen, I., Berczik, P., & Spurzem, R. (2011). Fast coalescence of massive black hole binaries from mergers of galactic nuclei: implications for low-frequency gravitational-wave astrophysics. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 732(2): L26. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/732/2/L26.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-0807-B
Abstract
We investigate a purely stellar dynamical solution to the Final Parsec Problem. Galactic nuclei resulting from major mergers are not spherical, but show some degree of triaxiality. With $N$-body simulations, we show that massive black hole binaries (MBHB) hosted by them will continuously interact with stars on centrophilic orbits and will thus inspiral---in much less than a Hubble time---down to separations at which gravitational wave (GW) emission is strong enough to drive them to coalescence. Such coalescences will be important sources of GWs for future space-borne detectors such as the {\it Laser Interferometer Space Antenna} (LISA). Based on our results, we expect that LISA will see between $\sim 10$ to $\sim {\rm few} \times 10^2$ such events every year, depending on the particular MBH seed model as obtained in recent studies of merger trees of galaxy and MBH co-evolution. Orbital eccentricities in the LISA band will be clearly distinguishable from zero with $e \gtrsim 0.001-0.01$.