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Creators/Authors contains: "Martinez, Miguel A."

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  1. Abstract

    Observations have shown that the majority of massive stars, the progenitors of black holes (BHs), have on average more than one stellar companion. In triple systems, wide inner binaries can be driven to a merger by a third body due to long-term secular interactions, most notably by the eccentric Lidov–Kozai effect. In this study, we explore the properties of BH mergers in triple systems and compare their population properties to those of binaries produced in isolation and assembled in dense star clusters. Using the same stellar physics and identical assumptions for the initial populations of binaries and triples, we show that stellar triples yield a significantly flatter mass ratio distribution fromq= 1 down toq∼ 0.3 than either binary stars or dense stellar clusters, similar to the population properties inferred from the most recent catalog of gravitational-wave events, though we do not claim that all the observed events can be accounted for with triples. While hierarchical mergers in clusters can also produce asymmetric mass ratios, the unique spins of such mergers can be used to distinguish them from those produced from stellar triples. All three channels occupy distinct regions in the total mass–mass ratio space, which may allow them to be disentangled as more BH mergers are detected by LIGO, Virgo, and KAGRA.

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  2. Abstract

    The existence of black holes (BHs) with masses in the range between stellar remnants and supermassive BHs has only recently become unambiguously established. GW190521, a gravitational wave signal detected by the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration, provides the first direct evidence for the existence of such intermediate-mass BHs (IMBHs). This event sparked and continues to fuel discussion on the possible formation channels for such massive BHs. As the detection revealed, IMBHs can form via binary mergers of BHs in the “upper mass gap” (≈40–120M). Alternatively, IMBHs may form via the collapse of a very massive star formed through stellar collisions and mergers in dense star clusters. In this study, we explore the formation of IMBHs with masses between 120 and 500Min young, massive star clusters using state-of-the-art Cluster Monte Carlo models. We examine the evolution of IMBHs throughout their dynamical lifetimes, ending with their ejection from the parent cluster due to gravitational radiation recoil from BH mergers, or dynamical recoil kicks from few-body scattering encounters. We find thatallof the IMBHs in our models are ejected from the host cluster within the first ∼500 Myr, indicating a low retention probability of IMBHs in this mass range for globular clusters today. We estimate the peak IMBH merger rate to be2Gpc3yr1at redshiftz≈ 2.

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