The Role of Primordial Kicks on Black Hole Merger Rates

Department of Physics, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Impact Factor: 5.23). 10/2006; 372(4). DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.11013.x
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT Primordial stars are likely to be very massive >30 Msun, form in isolation, and will likely leave black holes as remnants in the centers of their host dark matter halos. We expect primordial stars to form in halos in the mass range 10^6-10^10 Msun. Some of these early black holes, formed at redshifts z>10, could be the seed black hole for a significant fraction of the supermassive black holes found in galaxies in the local universe. If the black hole descendants of the primordial stars exist, their mergers with nearby supermassive black holes may be a prime candidate for long wavelength gravitational wave detectors. We simulate formation and evolution of dark matter halos in LambdaCDM universe. We seed high-redshift dark matter halos with early black holes, and explore the merger history of the host halos and the implications of black hole's kick velocities arising from their coalescence. The central concentration of low mass early black holes in present day galaxies is reduced if they experience even moderate kicks of tens of km/s. Even such modest kicks allow the black holes to leave their parent halo, which consequently leads to dynamical friction being less effective on the low mass black holes that were ejected, compared to those still embedded in their parent halos. Therefore, merger rates with central supermassive black holes in the largest halos may be reduced by more than an order of magnitude. Using analytical and illustrative cosmological N-body simulations, we quantify the role of kicks on the merger rates of black holes formed from massive metal free stars with supermassive black holes in present day galaxies.

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