Journal Article

Compact binaries in star clusters – I. Black hole binaries inside globular clusters

J. M. B. Downing, M. J. Benacquista, M. Giersz and R. Spurzem

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 3, pages 1946-1962
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Compact binaries in star clusters – I. Black hole binaries inside globular clusters

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We study the compact binary population in star clusters, focusing on binaries containing black holes, using a self-consistent Monte Carlo treatment of dynamics and full stellar evolution. We find that the black holes experience strong mass segregation and become centrally concentrated. In the core the black holes interact strongly with each other and black hole–black hole binaries are formed very efficiently. The strong interactions, however, also destroy or eject the black hole–black hole binaries. We find no black hole–black hole mergers within our simulations but produce many hard escapers that will merge in the Galactic field within a Hubble time. We also find several highly eccentric black hole–black hole binaries that are potential Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) sources, suggesting that star clusters are interesting targets for space-based detectors. We conclude that star clusters must be taken into account when predicting compact binary population statistics.

Keywords: gravitational waves; binaries: close; globular clusters: general

Journal Article.  10748 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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