Volume 635, March 2020
|Number of page(s)||18|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||16 March 2020|
The origin of spin in binary black holes
Predicting the distributions of the main observables of Advanced LIGO
Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, Chemin des Maillettes 51, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
2 Birmingham Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy and School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
3 Monash Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia
4 ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery – OzGrav, Australia
5 Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, Tonantzintla, Puebla 72840, Mexico
6 Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Av. Insurgentes Sur 1582, Col. Crédito Constructor, Ciudad de México 03940, Mexico
7 Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 17, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
8 Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
9 Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia
Accepted: 21 January 2020
Context. After years of scientific progress, the origin of stellar binary black holes is still a great mystery. Several formation channels for merging black holes have been proposed in the literature. As more merger detections are expected with future gravitational-wave observations, population synthesis studies can help to distinguish between them.
Aims. We study the formation of coalescing binary black holes via the evolution of isolated field binaries that go through the common envelope phase in order to obtain the combined distributions of observables such as black-hole spins, masses and cosmological redshifts of mergers.
Methods. To achieve this aim, we used a hybrid technique that combines the parametric binary population synthesis code COMPAS with detailed binary evolution simulations performed with the MESA code. We then convolved our binary evolution calculations with the redshift- and metallicity-dependent star-formation rate and the selection effects of gravitational-wave detectors to obtain predictions of observable properties.
Results. By assuming efficient angular momentum transport, we are able to present a model that is capable of simultaneously predicting the following three main gravitational-wave observables: the effective inspiral spin parameter χeff, the chirp mass Mchirp and the cosmological redshift of merger zmerger. We find an excellent agreement between our model and the ten events from the first two advanced detector observing runs. We make predictions for the third observing run O3 and for Advanced LIGO design sensitivity. We expect approximately 80% of events with χeff < 0.1, while the remaining 20% of events with χeff ≥ 0.1 are split into ∼10% with Mchirp < 15 M⊙ and ∼10% with Mchirp ≥ 15 M⊙. Moreover, we find that Mchirp and χeff distributions are very weakly dependent on the detector sensitivity.
Conclusions. The favorable comparison of the existing LIGO/Virgo observations with our model predictions gives support to the idea that the majority, if not all of the observed mergers, originate from the evolution of isolated binaries. The first-born black hole has negligible spin because it lost its envelope after it expanded to become a giant star, while the spin of the second-born black hole is determined by the tidal spin up of its naked helium star progenitor by the first-born black hole companion after the binary finished the common-envelope phase.
Key words: stars: black holes / gravitational waves / binaries close / black hole physics
© ESO 2020
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