Massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) are expected to form at the centre of merging galaxies during the hierarchical assembly of the cosmic structure, and are expected to be the loudest sources of gravitational waves (GWs) in the low frequency domain. However, because of the dearth of energy exchanges with background stars and gas, many of these MBHBs may stall at separations too large for GW emission to drive them to coalescence in less than a Hubble time. Triple MBH systems are then bound to form after a further galaxy merger, triggering a complex and rich dynamics that can eventually lead to MBH coalescence. Here we report on the results of a large set of numerical simulations, where MBH triplets are set in spherical stellar potentials and MBH dynamics is followed through 2.5 post-Newtonian order in the equations of motion. From our full suite of simulated systems we find that a fraction ≃20−30% of the MBH binaries that would otherwise stall are led to coalesce within a Hubble time. The corresponding coalescence timescale peaks around 300 Myr, while the eccentricity close to the plunge, albeit small, is non-negligible (≲0.1). We construct and discuss marginalised probability distributions of the main parameters involved and, in a companion paper of the series, we will use the results presented here to forecast the contribution of MBH triplets to the GW signal in the nHz regime probed by Pulsar Timing Array experiments.
|Titolo:||Post-Newtonian evolution of massive black hole triplets in galactic nuclei II. Survey of the parameter space|
|Autori:||Bonetti, M.; Haardt, F.; Sesana, A.; Barausse, E.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1093/mnras/sty896|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|