Merger rates of double neutron stars and stellar origin black holes: the impact of initial conditions on binary evolution predictions.
DE MINK S.E. and BELCZYNSKI K.
Abstract (from CDS):
The initial mass function (IMF), binary fraction, and distributions of binary parameters (mass ratios, separations, and eccentricities) are indispensable inputs for simulations of stellar populations. It is often claimed that these are poorly constrained, significantly affecting evolutionary predictions. Recently, dedicated observing campaigns have provided new constraints on the initial conditions for massive stars. Findings include a larger close binary fraction and a stronger preference for very tight systems. We investigate the impact on the predicted merger rates of neutron stars and black holes. Despite the changes with previous assumptions, we only find an increase of less than a factor of 2 (insignificant compared with evolutionary uncertainties of typically a factor of 10-100). We further show that the uncertainties in the new initial binary properties do not significantly affect (within a factor of 2) our predictions of double compact object merger rates. An exception is the uncertainty in IMF (variations by a factor of 6 up and down). No significant changes in the distributions of final component masses, mass ratios, chirp masses, and delay times are found. We conclude that the predictions are, for practical purposes, robust against uncertainties in the initial conditions concerning binary parameters, with the exception of the IMF. This eliminates an important layer of the many uncertain assumptions affecting the predictions of merger detection rates with the gravitational wave detectors aLIGO/aVirgo.
binaries: close - gravitational waves - stars: black holes - stars: massive - stars: neutron - X-rays: binaries