A new scenario to form double black-hole binaries observable with LIGO

23 Jan

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 6.32.52 PMWhen to black holes in a binary merge, the ripples can in principle be observed with  the gravitational wave detectors aLIGO/VIRGO.  In this paper, Ilya Mandel and I investigate the black hole – black hole binaries produced through “homogeneous evolution”, a formation channel originally hypothesized in De Mink et al. (2009).  In this scenario two stars in a close binary are strongly perturbed and internally mixed. The stars remain compact as they evolve, eventually forming two black holes, which, we estimate, typically merge 4 to 11 Gyr after formation.  We estimate the cosmic merger rate.   Events from this channel may be distinguished by the preference for nearly equal mass components and high masses, with typical total masses between 50 and 110 solar masses.  Mandel & de Mink (2016, subm.),  available on the Arxiv