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Title: Tidal disruption events from three-body scatterings and eccentricity pumping in the discs of active galactic nuclei

Tidal disruption events (TDEs) are routinely observed in quiescent galaxies, as stars from the nuclear star cluster are scattered into the loss cone of the central supermassive black hole (SMBH). TDEs are also expected to occur in active galactic nuclei (AGNs), due to scattering or orbital eccentricity pumping of stars embedded in the innermost regions of the AGN accretion disc. Encounters with embedded stellar-mass black holes (BH) can result in AGN μTDEs. AGN TDEs and μTDEs could therefore account for a fraction of observed AGN variability. Here, by performing scattering experiments with the few-body code SpaceHub, we compute the probability of AGN TDEs and μTDEs as a result of 3-body interactions between stars and binary BHs. We find that AGN TDEs are more probable during the early life of the AGNs, when rates are $\sim (6\times 10^{-5}-5 \times 10^{-2}) (f_\bullet /0.01)\, \rm {AGN}^{-1}$ yr−1 (where f• is the ratio between the number density of BHs and stars), generally higher than in quiescent galactic nuclei. By contrast, μTDEs should occur throughout the AGN lifetime at a rate of $\sim (1\times 10^{-4} - 4\times 10^{-2})(f_\bullet /0.01)\, \rm {AGN}^{-1}$ yr−1. Detection and characterization of AGN TDEs and μAGN TDEs with future surveys using Rubin and Roman will help constrain the populations of stars and compact objects embedded in AGN discs, a key input for the LVK AGN channel.

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Award ID(s):
2219090 2006839
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Medium: X Size: p. 1409-1421
p. 1409-1421
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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