Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 367, 103-112 (2006/March-3)
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna double black holes: dynamics in gaseous nuclear discs.
DOTTI M., COLPI M. and HAARDT F.
Abstract (from CDS):
We study the inspiral of double black holes, with masses in the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) window of detectability, orbiting inside a massive circumnuclear, rotationally supported gaseous disc. Using high-resolution smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations, we follow the black hole dynamics in the early phase when gas-dynamical friction acts on the black holes individually, and continue our simulation until they form a close binary. We find that in the early sinking the black holes lose memory of their initial orbital eccentricity if they corotate with the gaseous disc. As a consequence, the massive black holes bind forming a binary with a low eccentricity, consistent with zero within our numerical resolution limit. The cause of circularization resides in the rotation present in the gaseous background where dynamical friction operates. Circularization may hinder gravitational waves from taking over and leading the binary to coalescence. In the case of counter-rotating orbits, the initial eccentricity (if present) does not decrease, and the black holes may bind forming an eccentric binary. When dynamical friction has subsided, for equal mass black holes and regardless their initial eccentricity, angular momentum loss, driven by the gravitational torque exerted on the binary by surrounding gas, is nevertheless observable down to the smallest scale probed (≃1 pc). In the case of unequal masses, dynamical friction remains efficient down to our resolution limit, and there is no sign of formation of any ellipsoidal gas distribution that may further harden the binary. During inspiral, gravitational capture of gas by the black holes occurs mainly along circular orbits; eccentric orbits imply high relative velocities and weak gravitational focusing. Thus, the active galactic nucleus activity may be excited during the black hole pairing process and double active nuclei may form when circularization is completed, on distance scales of tens of parsecs.
2006 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2006 RAS
black hole physics - gravitational waves - hydrodynamics - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: nuclei
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