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  1. Abstract

    On 2022 September 18, an alert by the IceCube Collaboration indicated that a ∼170 TeV neutrino arrived in directional coincidence with the blazar TXS 0506+056. This event adds to two previous pieces of evidence that TXS 0506+056 is a neutrino emitter, i.e., a neutrino alert from its direction on 2017 September 22, and a 3σsignature of a dozen neutrinos in 2014/2015. De Bruijn el al. showed that two previous neutrino emission episodes from this blazar could be due to a supermassive binary black hole (SMBBH) central engine where jet precession close to the final coalescence of the binary results in periodic emission. This model predicted a new emission episode consistent with the 2022 September 18 neutrino observation by IceCube. Here, we show that the neutrino cadence of TXS 0506+056 is consistent with an SMBBH origin. We find that the emission episodes are consistent with an SMBBH with mass ratiosq≲ 0.3 for a total black hole mass ofMtot≳ 3 · 108M. For the first time, we calculate the characteristic strain of the gravitational wave emission of the binary, and show that the merger could be detectable by LISA for black hole masses <5 · 108Mif the mass ratios are inmore »the range 0.1 ≲q≲ 0.3. We predict that there can be a neutrino flare existing in the still-to-be-analyzed IceCube data peaking some time between 2019 August and 2021 January if a precessing jet is responsible for all three detected emission episodes. The next flare is expected to peak in the period 2023 January to 2026 August. Further observation will make it possible to constrain the mass ratio as a function of the total mass of the black hole more precisely and would open the window toward the preparation of the detection of SMBBH mergers.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 12, 2023
  3. Abstract The joint detection of gravitational waves and the gamma-ray counterpart of a binary neutron star merger event, GW170817, unambiguously validates the connection between short gamma-ray bursts and compact binary object (CBO) mergers. We focus on a special scenario where short gamma-ray bursts produced by CBO mergers are embedded in disks of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and we investigate the γ -ray emission produced in the internal dissipation region via synchrotron, synchrotron self-Compton, and external inverse Compton (EIC) processes. In this scenario, isotropic thermal photons from the AGN disks contribute to the EIC component. We show that a low-density cavity can be formed in the migration traps, leading to the embedded mergers producing successful GRB jets. We find that the EIC component would dominate the GeV emission for typical CBO mergers with an isotropic-equivalent luminosity of L j ,iso = 10 48.5 erg s −1 that are located close to the central supermassive black hole. Considering a long-lasting jet of duration T dur ∼ 10 2 –10 3 s, we find that the future Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will be able to detect its 25–100 GeV emission out to a redshift z = 1.0. In the optimistic case, it ismore »possible to detect the on-axis extended emission simultaneously with GWs within one decade using MAGIC, H.E.S.S., VERITAS, CTA, and LHAASO-WCDA. Early diagnosis of prompt emissions with Fermi-GBM and HAWC can provide valuable directional information for the follow-up observations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  4. Abstract Stellar-mass BHs (sBHs) are predicted to be embedded in active galactic nucleus (AGN) disks owing to gravitational drag and in situ star formation. However, we find that, due to a high gas density in an AGN disk environment, compact objects may rapidly grow to intermediate-mass BHs and deplete matter from the AGN disk unless accretion is suppressed by some feedback process(es). These consequences are inconsistent with AGN observations and the dynamics of the Galactic center. Here we consider mechanical feedback mechanisms for the reduction of gas accretion. Rapidly accreting sBHs launch winds and/or jets via the Blandford–Znajek mechanism, which produce high-pressure shocks and cocoons. Such a shock and cocoon can spread laterally in the plane of the disk, eject the outer regions of a circum-sBH disk (CsBD), and puncture a hole in the AGN disk with horizontal size comparable to the disk scale height. Since the depletion timescale of the bound CsBD is much shorter than the resupply timescale of gas to the sBH, the time-averaged accretion rate onto sBHs is reduced by this process by a factor of ∼10–100. This feedback mechanism can therefore help alleviate the sBH overgrowth and AGN disk depletion problems. On the other hand,more »we find that cocoons of jets can unbind a large fraction of the gas accreting in the disks of less massive supermassive BHs (SMBHs), which may help explain the dearth of high-Eddington-ratio AGNs with SMBH mass ≲ 10 5 M ⊙ .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  5. Abstract The observed distributions of the source properties from gravitational-wave (GW) detections are biased due to the selection effects and detection criteria in the detections, analogous to the Malmquist bias. In this work, this observation bias is investigated through its fundamental statistical and physical origins. An efficient semi-analytical formulation for its estimation is derived, which is as accurate as the standard method of numerical simulations, with only a millionth of the computational cost. Then, the estimated bias is used for unmodeled inferences on the binary black hole population. These inferences show additional structures, specifically two peaks in the joint mass distribution around binary masses ∼10 M ⊙ and ∼30 M ⊙ . Example ready-to-use scripts and some produced data sets for this method are shared in an online repository.
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  7. ABSTRACT Recent gravitational wave (GW) observations by LIGO/Virgo show evidence for hierarchical mergers, where the merging BHs are the remnants of previous BH merger events. These events may carry important clues about the astrophysical host environments of the GW sources. In this paper, we present the distributions of the effective spin parameter (χeff), the precession spin parameter (χp), and the chirp mass (mchirp) expected in hierarchical mergers. Under a wide range of assumptions, hierarchical mergers produce (i) a monotonic increase of the average of the typical total spin for merging binaries, which we characterize with $\scriptstyle{{\bar{\chi }}_\mathrm{typ}\equiv \overline{(\chi _\mathrm{eff}^2+\chi _\mathrm{p}^2)^{1/2}}}$, up to roughly the maximum mchirp among first-generation (1g) BHs, and (ii) a plateau at ${\bar{\chi }}_\mathrm{typ}\sim 0.6$ at higher mchirp. We suggest that the maximum mass and typical spin magnitudes for 1g BHs can be estimated from ${\bar{\chi }}_\mathrm{typ}$ as a function of mchirp. The GW data observed in LIGO/Virgo O1–O3a prefers an increase in ${\bar{\chi }}_\mathrm{typ}$ at low mchirp, which is consistent with the growth of the BH spin magnitude by hierarchical mergers at ∼2σ confidence. A Bayesian analysis using the χeff, χp, and mchirp distributions suggests that 1g BHs have the maximum mass of ∼15–$30\, {\rm M}_\odot$more »if the majority of mergers are of high-generation BHs (not among 1g–1g BHs), which is consistent with mergers in active galactic nucleus discs and/or nuclear star clusters, while if mergers mainly originate from globular clusters, 1g BHs are favoured to have non-zero spin magnitudes of ∼0.3. We also forecast that signatures for hierarchical mergers in the ${\bar{\chi }}_\mathrm{typ}$ distribution can be confidently recovered once the number of GW events increases to ≳ O(100).« less