Astrophysics, Gravitation and Cosmology Seminar: "Insights into Supermassive Black Hole Mergers, Stalling and Demographics with Pulsar Timing Arrays"
(sign-up)Chiara Mingarelli, Flatiron Institute's Center for Computational Astrophysics
|Event Contact:||Milton Ruiz
Department of Physics
Galaxy mergers are a standard aspect of galaxy formation and evolution, and likely all large galaxies contain central supermassive black holes (SMBH). Here I present new research where we use massive elliptical galaxies in the 2 Micron All Sky Survey to identify potential SMBH binary host galaxies, assess the likelihood of detecting one of these sources with Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTAs), their contribution to the gravitational-wave (GW) background, and report the characteristics of the most detected SMBH binaries and host galaxies. We find that out to 225 Mpc there are on average 91 sources emitting GWs in the PTA band and 7 stalled binaries which will never merge. The chance of detecting these GW sources with current PTA data is <1%, however in the next 10 years PTAs probe a region of the parameter space rich in sources, making a 3-sigma (or better) detection likely, depending on the source position of the sky and the intrinsic pulsar noise properties.
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