Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Remnant black hole kicks and implications for hierarchical mergers

Mahapatra, Parthapratim, Gupta, Anuradha, Favata, Marc, Arun, K. G. and Sathyaprakash, B. S. ORCID: 2021. Remnant black hole kicks and implications for hierarchical mergers. Astrophysical Journal Letters 918 (2) , L31. 10.3847/2041-8213/ac20db

[thumbnail of 10.38472041-8213ac20db+-+Post-print.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (447kB) | Preview


When binary black holes merge in dense star clusters, their remnants can pair up with other black holes in the cluster, forming heavier and heavier black holes in a process called hierarchical merger. The most important condition for hierarchical merger to occur is that remnants formed by mergers are retained by the host star cluster. Using the publicly available gravitational-wave event database, we infer the magnitudes of kick velocities imparted to the remnant black holes due to anisotropic emission of gravitational waves and use that to quantify the retention probability of each event as a function of the escape speed of the star cluster. Among the second gravitational-wave transient catalog (GWTC-2) events, GW190814 provides the tightest constraint on the kick magnitude with ${V}_{\mathrm{kick}}={74}_{-7}^{+10}$ km s−1 at the 90% credible level. We find that star clusters with escape speeds of 200 km s−1 can retain about 50% of the events in the GWTC-2. Using the escape speed distributions of nuclear star clusters and globular clusters, we find that ∼17 (2) remnants of GWTC-2 may be retained by the host star cluster if all GWTC-2 events occurred in nuclear (globular) clusters. Our study demonstrates the importance of folding in kick velocity inferences in future studies of hierarchical mergers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
ISSN: 2041-8205
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: 25 August 2021
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 19:49

Citation Data

Cited 5 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics