skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 2006176

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract Linear analysis of gas flows around orbiting binaries suggests that a centrifugal barrier ought to clear a low-density cavity around the binary and inhibit mass transfer onto it. Modern hydrodynamics simulations have confirmed the low-density cavity, but show that any mass flowing from large scales into the circumbinary disk is eventually transferred onto the binary components. Even though many numerical studies confirm this picture, it is still not understood precisely how gas parcels overcome the centrifugal barrier and ultimately accrete. We present a detailed analysis of the binary accretion process, using an accurate prescription for evolving grid-based hydrodynamics with Lagrangian tracer particles that track the trajectories of individual gas parcels. We find that binary accretion can be described in four phases: (1) gas is viscously transported through the circumbinary disk up to the centrifugal barrier at the cavity wall, (2) the cavity wall is tidally distorted into accretion streams consisting of near-ballistic gas parcels on eccentric orbits, (3) the portion of each stream moving inwards of an accretion horizon radius r ¯ ≃ a —the radius beyond which no material is returned to the cavity wall—becomes bound to a minidisk orbiting an individual binary component, and (4) the minidiskmore »gas accretes onto the binary component through the combined effect of viscous and tidal stresses.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. Supermassive stars (SMSs) with masses of 𝑀∗ ≃ 104–105 M⊙ are invoked as possible seeds of high-redshift supermassive black holes, but it remains under debate whether their protostar indeed acquires sufficient mass via gas accretion overcoming radiative feedback. We investigate protostellar growth in dynamically heated atomic-cooling haloes (ACHs) found in recent cosmological simulations, performing three-dimensional radiation hydrodynamical (RHD) simulations that consider stellar evolution under variable mass accretion. We find that one of the ACHs feeds the central protostar at rates exceeding a critical value, above which the star evolves in a cool bloating phase and hardly produces ionizing photons. Consequently, the stellar mass reaches 𝑀∗ 􏰁 104 M⊙ unimpeded by radiative feedback. In the other ACH, where the mass supply rate is lower, the star spends most of its life as a hot main-sequence star, emitting intense ionizing radiation. Then, the stellar mass growth is terminated around 500 M⊙ by photoevaporation of the circumstellar disk. A series of our RHD simulations provide a formula of the final stellar mass determined either by stellar feedback or their lifetime as a function of the mass supply rate from the parent cloud in the absence of stellar radiation. Combining the results with themore »statistical properties of SMS-forming clouds in high-redshift quasar progenitor haloes, we construct a top-heavy mass distribution of primordial stars over 𝑀∗ ≃ 100–105 M⊙, approximately following a power-law spectrum of ∝ 𝑀−1.3 with a steeper decline at 𝑀 􏰁 2 × 104 M . Their massive BH remnants would be ∗∗⊙ further fed via the dense debris disk, powering “milli-quasars" with a bolometric luminosity of 𝐿bol 􏰁 1043 erg s−1.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  3. The existence of 109 M⊙ supermassive black holes (SMBHs) within the first billion years of the universe remains a puzzle in our conventional understanding of black hole formation and growth. The so-called direct-collapse scenario suggests that the formation of supermassive stars (SMSs) can yield the massive seeds of early SMBHs. This scenario leads to an overly massive BH galaxy (OMBG), whose nuclear black hole’s mass is comparable to or even greater than the surrounding stellar mass: a 104 − 106 M⊙ seed black hole is born in a dark matter halo with a mass as low as 107 − 108 M⊙. The black hole to stellar mass ratio is 𝑀bh/𝑀∗ ≫ 10−3, well in excess of the typical values at lower redshift. We investigate how long these newborn BHs remain outliers in the 𝑀bh − 𝑀∗ relation, by exploring the subsequent evolution of two OMBGs previously identified in the Renaissance simulations. We find that both OMBGs have𝑀bh/𝑀∗>1 during their entire life, from their birth at 𝑧≈15 until they merge with much more massive haloes at 𝑧 ≈ 8. We find that the OMBGs are spatially resolvable from their more massive, 1011 M⊙, neighboring haloes until their mergers are complete atmore »𝑧 ≈ 8. This affords a window for future observations with JWST and sensitive X-ray telescopes to diagnose the direct-collapse scenario, by detecting similar OMBGs and establishing their uniquely high black hole-to-stellar mass ratio.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  4. Observations of the most luminous quasars at high redshifts (z > 6) have revealed that the largest supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at those epochs tend to be substantially overmassive relative to their host galaxies compared to the local relations, suggesting they experienced rapid early growth phases. We propose an assembly model for the SMBHs that end up in rare massive ∼ 1012 M⊙ host halos at z ∼ 6−7, applying a kinetic feedback prescription for BHs accreting above the Eddington rate, provided by radiation hydrodynamic simulations for the long-term evolution of the accretion-flow structure. The large inflow rates into these halos during their assembly enable the formation of > 109 M⊙ SMBHs by z ∼ 6, even starting from stellar-mass seeds at z ∼ 30, and even in the presence of outflows that reduce the BH feeding rate, especially at early times. This mechanism also naturally yields a high BH-to-galaxy mass ratio of > 0.01 before the SMBH mass reaches MBH > 109 M⊙ by z ∼ 6. These fast-growing SMBH progenitors are bright enough to be detected by upcoming observations with the James Webb Space Telescope over a wide range of redshift (7 < z < 15), regardless ofmore »how they were seeded.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  5. We study the long-term evolution of the global structure of axisymmetric accretion flows onto a black hole (BH) at rates substantially higher than the Eddington value (Mdot,Edd)performing two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations with and without radiative diffusion. In the high-accretion optically-thick limit, where the radiation energy is efficiently trapped within the inflow, the accretion flow becomes adiabatic and comprises of turbulent gas in the equatorial region and strong bipolar outflows. As a result, the mass inflow rate decreases toward the center as Mdot,in∝r_p with p∼0.5−0.7 and a small fraction of the inflowing gas feeds the nuclear BH. Thus, super-Eddington accretion is sustained only when a larger amount of gas is supplied from larger radii at >100−1000 Mdot, Edd. The global structure of the flow settles down to a quasi-steady state in millions of the orbital timescale at the BH event horizon, which is >10−100 times longer than that addressed in previous (magneto-)RHD simulation studies. Energy transport via radiative diffusion accelerates the outflow near the poles in the inner region but does not change the overall properties of the accretion flow compared to the cases without diffusion. Based on our simulation results, we provide a mechanical feedback model for super-Eddington accreting BHs. Thismore »can be applied as a sub-grid model in large-scale cosmological simulations that do not sufficiently resolve galactic nuclei, and to the formation of the heaviest gravitational-wave sources via accretion in dense environments.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  6. 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
  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
  8. ABSTRACT The Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) by the Vera C. Rubin Observatory is expected to discover tens of millions of quasars. A significant fraction of these could be powered by coalescing massive black hole (MBH) binaries, since many quasars are believed to be triggered by mergers. We show that under plausible assumptions about the luminosity functions, lifetimes, and binary fractions of quasars, we expect the full LSST quasar catalogue to contain between 20 and 100 million compact MBH binaries with masses M = 105–9M⊙, redshifts z = 0–6, and orbital periods P = 1–70 d. Their light-curves are expected to be distinctly periodic, which can be confidently distinguished from stochastic red-noise variability, because LSST will cover dozens, or even hundreds of cycles. A very small subset of 10–150 ultracompact (P ≲ 1 d) binary quasars among these will, over ∼5–15 yr, evolve into the mHz gravitational-wave frequency band and can be detected by LISA. They can therefore be regarded as ‘LISA verification binaries’, analogous to short-period Galactic compact-object binaries. The practical question is how to find these handful of ‘needles in the haystack’ among the large number of quasars: this will likely require a tailored co-adding analysis optimized for thismore »purpose.« less