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  1. Abstract

    Binary stars undergo a variety of interactions and evolutionary phases, critical for predicting and explaining observations. Binary population synthesis with full simulation of stellar structure and evolution is computationally expensive, requiring a large number of mass-transfer sequences. The recently developed binary population synthesis codePOSYDONincorporates grids ofMESAbinary star simulations that are interpolated to model large-scale populations of massive binaries. The traditional method of computing a high-density rectilinear grid of simulations is not scalable for higher-dimension grids, accounting for a range of metallicities, rotation, and eccentricity. We present a new active learning algorithm,psy-cris, which uses machine learning in the data-gathering process to adaptively and iteratively target simulations to run, resulting in a custom, high-performance training set. We testpsy-crison a toy problem and find the resulting training sets require fewer simulations for accurate classification and regression than either regular or randomly sampled grids. We further applypsy-cristo the target problem of building a dynamic grid ofMESAsimulations, and we demonstrate that, even without fine tuning, a simulation set of only ∼1/4 the size of a rectilinear grid is sufficient to achieve the same classification accuracy. We anticipate further gains when algorithmic parameters are optimized for the targeted application. We find that optimizing for classificationmore »only may lead to performance losses in regression, and vice versa. Lowering the computational cost of producing grids will enable new population synthesis codes such asPOSYDONto cover more input parameters while preserving interpolation accuracies.

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  2. Abstract

    Our view of the variety of stellar structures pervading the local Milky Way has been transformed by the application of clustering algorithms to the Gaia catalog. In particular, several stellar streams have been recently discovered that are comprised of hundreds to thousands of stars and span several hundred parsecs. We analyze one such structure, Theia 456, a low-density stellar stream extending nearly 200 pc and 20° across the sky. By supplementing Gaia astrometric data with spectroscopic metallicities from Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope and photometric rotation periods from the Zwicky Transient Facility and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, we establish Theia 456's radial velocity coherence, and we find strong evidence that members of Theia 456 have a common age (≃175 Myr), common dynamical origin, and formed from chemically homogeneous prestellar material ([Fe/H] = −0.07 dex). Unlike well-known stellar streams in the Milky Way, which are in its halo, Theia 456 is firmly part of the thin disk. If our conclusions about Theia 456 can be applied to even a small fraction of the remaining ≃8300 independent structures in the Theia catalog, such low-density stellar streams may be ubiquitous. We comment on the implications this has for themore »nature of star formation throughout the Galaxy.

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  3. Long-duration gamma-ray bursts are thought to be associated with the core-collapse of massive, rapidly spinning stars and the formation of black holes. However, efficient angular momentum transport in stellar interiors, currently supported by asteroseismic and gravitational-wave constraints, leads to predominantly slowly-spinning stellar cores. Here, we report on binary stellar evolution and population synthesis calculations, showing that tidal interactions in close binaries not only can explain the observed subpopulation of spinning, merging binary black holes but also lead to long gamma-ray bursts at the time of black-hole formation. Given our model calibration against the distribution of isotropic-equivalent energies of luminous long gamma-ray bursts, we find that ≈10% of the GWTC-2 reported binary black holes had a luminous long gamma-ray burst associated with their formation, with GW190517 and GW190719 having a probability of ≈85% and ≈60%, respectively, being among them. Moreover, given an assumption about their average beaming fraction, our model predicts the rate density of long gamma-ray bursts, as a function of redshift, originating from this channel. For a constant beaming fraction f B  ∼ 0.05 our model predicts a rate density comparable to the observed one, throughout the redshift range, while, at redshift z  ∈ [0, 2.5], a tentative comparison with the metallicitymore »distribution of observed LGRB host galaxies implies that between 20% to 85% of the observed long gamma-ray bursts may originate from progenitors of merging binary black holes. The proposed link between a potentially significant fraction of observed, luminous long gamma-ray bursts and the progenitors of spinning binary black-hole mergers allows us to probe the latter well outside the horizon of current-generation gravitational wave observatories, and out to cosmological distances.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  4. Stellar-mass black holes can become embedded within the gaseous disks of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Afterwards, their interactions are mediated by their gaseous surroundings. In this work, we study the evolution of stellar-mass binary black holes (BBHs) embedded within AGN disks using a combination of three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations and analytic methods, focusing on environments in which the AGN disk scale height H is ≳ the BBH sphere of influence. We model the local surroundings of the embedded BBHs using a wind tunnel formalism and characterize different accretion regimes based on the local properties of the disk, which range from wind-dominated to quasi-spherical. We use our simulations to develop prescriptions for mass accretion and drag for embedded BBHs. We use these prescriptions, along with AGN disk models that can represent the Toomre-unstable outer regions of AGN disks, to study the long-term evolution of the BBHs as they migrate through the disk. We find that BBHs typically merge within ≲5−30Myr , increasing their mass significantly in the process, allowing BBHs to enter (or cross) the pair-instability supernova mass gap. The rate at which gas is supplied to these BBHs often exceeds the Eddington limit, sometimes by several orders of magnitude. We concludemore »that most embedded BBHs will merge before migrating significantly in the disk. Depending on the conditions of the ambient gas and the distance to the system, LISA can detect the transition between the gas-dominated and gravitational wave dominated regime for inspiraling BBHs that are formed sufficiently close to the AGN ( ≲ 0.1 pc). We also discuss possible electromagnetic signatures during and following the inspiral, finding that it is generally unlikely but not inconceivable for the bolometric luminosity of the BBH to exceed that of the host AGN.« less
  5. Long gamma-ray bursts are associated with the core-collapse of massive, rapidly spinning stars. However, the believed efficient angular momentum transport in stellar interiors leads to predominantly slowly-spinning stellar cores. Here, we report on binary stellar evolution and population synthesis calculations, showing that tidal interactions in close binaries not only can explain the observed sub-population of spinning, merging binary black holes, but also lead to long gamma-ray bursts at the time of black-hole formation, with rates matching the empirical ones. We find that ≈10% of the GWTC-2 reported binary black holes had a long gamma-ray burst associated with their formation, with GW190517 and GW190719 having a probability of ≈85% and ≈60%, respectively, being among them.