Journal Article

Gravitational wave heating of stars and accretion discs

Gongjie Li, Bence Kocsis and Abraham Loeb

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 425, issue 4, pages 2407-2412
Published in print October 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Gravitational wave heating of stars and accretion discs

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We investigate the electromagnetic counterpart of gravitational waves (GWs) emitted by a supermassive black hole binary (SMBHB) through the viscous dissipation of the GW energy in an accretion disc and stars surrounding the SMBHB. We account for the suppression of the heating rate if the forcing period is shorter than the turnover time of the largest turbulent eddies. We find that the viscous heating luminosity in 0.1 M stars can be significantly higher than their intrinsic luminosity, but still too low to be detected for extragalactic sources. The relative brightening is small for accretion discs.

Keywords: black hole physics; gravitational waves; galaxies: nuclei

Journal Article.  3820 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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