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On strong mass segregation around a massive black hole: Implications for lower-frequency gravitational-wave astrophysics

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons20654

Amaro-Seoane,  Pau
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Volltexte (frei zugänglich)

0910.3206
(Preprint), 269KB

2041-8205_708_1_L42.pdf
(beliebiger Volltext), 318KB

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Zitation

Preto, M., & Amaro-Seoane, P. (2010). On strong mass segregation around a massive black hole: Implications for lower-frequency gravitational-wave astrophysics. Astrophysical Journal, Letters, 708, L42-L46. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.3206.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-9CAE-C
Zusammenfassung
We present, for the first time, a clear $N$-body realization of the {\it strong mass segregation} solution for the stellar distribution around a massive black hole. We compare our $N$-body results with those obtained by solving the orbit-averaged Fokker-Planck (FP) equation in energy space. The $N$-body segregation is slightly stronger than in the FP solution, but both confirm the {\it robustness} of the regime of strong segregation when the number fraction of heavy stars is a (realistically) small fraction of the total population. In view of recent observations revealing a dearth of giant stars in the sub-parsec region of the Milky Way, we show that the time scales associated with cusp re-growth are not longer than $(0.1-0.25) \times T_{rlx}(r_h)$. These time scales are shorter than a Hubble time for black holes masses $\mbul \lesssim 4 \times 10^6 M_\odot$ and we conclude that quasi-steady, mass segregated, stellar cusps may be common around MBHs in this mass range. Since EMRI rates scale as $\mbul^{-\alpha}$, with $\alpha \in [1\4,1]$, a good fraction of these events should originate from strongly segregated stellar cusps.