3 years ago

Accretion of clumpy cold gas onto massive black hole binaries: a possible fast route to binary coalescence.

Alberto Sesana, Cristian Maureira-Fredes, Felipe G. Goicovic, Jorge Cuadra, Pau Amaro-Seoane

In currently favoured hierarchical cosmologies, the formation of massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) following galaxy mergers is unavoidable. Still, due the complex physics governing the (hydro)dynamics of the post-merger dense environment of stars and gas in galactic nuclei, the final fate of those MBHBs is still unclear. In gas-rich environments, it is plausible that turbulence and gravitational instabilities feed gas to the nucleus in the form of a series of cold incoherent clumps, thus providing a way to exchange energy and angular momentum between the MBHB and its surroundings. Within this context, we present a suite of smoothed-particle-hydrodynamical models to study the evolution of a sequence of near-radial turbulent gas clouds as they infall towards equal-mass, circular MBHBs. We focus on the dynamical response of the binary orbit to different levels of anisotropy of the incoherent accretion events. Compared to a model extrapolated from a set of individual cloud-MBHB interactions, we find that accretion increases considerably and the binary evolution is faster. This occurs because the continuous infall of clouds drags inwards circumbinary gas left behind by previous accretion events, thus promoting a more effective exchange of angular momentum between the MBHB and the gas. These results suggest that sub-parsec MBHBs efficiently evolve towards coalescence during the interaction with a sequence of individual gas pockets.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.04937

DOI: arXiv:1801.04937v1

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.