Massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) are thought to be the main source of gravitational waves (GWs) in the low-frequency domain surveyed by ongoing and forthcoming Pulsar Timing Array campaigns and future space-borne missions, such as eLISA. However, many low-redshift MBHBs in realistic astrophysical environments may not reach separations small enough to allow significant GW emission, but rather stall on (sub) pc-scale orbits. This 'last-parsec problem' can be eased by the appearance of a third massive black hole (MBH) - the 'intruder' - whose action can force, under certain conditions, the inner MBHB on a very eccentric orbit, hence allowing intense GW emission eventually leading to coalescence. A detailed assessment of the process, ultimately driven by the induced Kozai-Lidov oscillations of the MBHB orbit, requires a general relativistic treatment and the inclusion of external factors, such as the Newtonian precession of the intruder orbit in the galactic potential and its hardening by scattering off background stars. In order to tackle this problem, we developed a three-body post-Newtonian (PN) code framed in a realistic galactic potential, including both non-dissipative 1PN and 2PN terms, and dissipative terms such as 2.5PN effects, orbital hardening of the outer binary, and the effect of the dynamical friction on the early stages of the intruder dynamics. In this first paper of a series devoted at studying the dynamics of MBH triplets from a cosmological perspective, we describe, test and validate our code.
|Titolo:||Post-Newtonian evolution of massive black hole triplets in galactic nuclei - I. Numerical implementation and tests|
|Autori:||Bonetti, M; Haardt, F; Sesana, A; Barausse, E|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1093/mnras/stw1590|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|