November 7, 2013

Formation and Coalescence of Supermassive Black Hole Binaries

Collapse of a rapidly differentially rotating supermassive star with a tiny initial m=2 density perturbation. The star is unstable to the non-axisymmetric m=2 mode, collapses, and forms two black holes. The nascent black holes subsequently inspiral and merge under the emission of powerful gravitational radiation. The collapse is accelerated by a ~0.25% reduction in the adiabatic index Gamma, motivated by electron-positron pair production at high temperatures.

credit: Caltech

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