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Binary black hole mergers from merged stars in the Galactic field

Stegmann, Jakob, Antonini, Fabio ORCID:, Schneider, Fabian R.N., Tiwari, Vaibhav and Chattopadhyay, Debatri 2022. Binary black hole mergers from merged stars in the Galactic field. Physical Review D 106 (2) , 023014. 10.1103/PhysRevD.106.023014

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The majority of massive stars are found in close binaries which: (i) are prone to merge and (ii) are accompanied by another distant tertiary star (triples). Here, we study the evolution of the stellar postmerger binaries composed of the merger product and the tertiary companion. We find that postmerger binaries originating from compact stellar triples with outer semimajor axes a out , init ≲ 10 1 – 10 2     AU provide a new way to form binary black hole mergers in the galactic field. By means of a population synthesis, we estimate their contribution to the total black hole merger rate to be R ( z = 0 ) = 0.3 – 25.2     Gpc − 3     yr − 1 . Merging binary black holes that form from stellar postmerger binaries have exceptionally low mass ratios. We identify a critical mass ratio q ≃ 0.5 below which they dominate the total black hole merger rate in the field. We show that after including their additional contribution, the mass ratio distribution of binary black hole mergers in the galactic field scenario is in better agreement with that inferred from gravitational wave detections.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: American Physical Society
ISSN: 2470-0010
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 9 June 2022
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2024 02:31

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