Publications associated with Theoretical Astrophysics & Plasma Physics

Intermediate-mass Black Holes' Effects on Compact Object Binaries

ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL American Astronomical Society 892 (2020) ARTN 130

B Deme, Y Meiron, B Kocsis

Although their existence is not yet confirmed observationally, intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs) may play a key role in the dynamics of galactic nuclei. In this paper, we neglect the effect of the nuclear star cluster itself and investigate only how a small reservoir of IMBHs influences the secular dynamics of stellar-mass black hole binaries, using N-body simulations. We show that our simplifications are valid and that the IMBHs significantly enhance binary evaporation by pushing the binaries into the Hill-unstable region of parameter space, where they are separated by the SMBH's tidal field. For binaries in the S-cluster region of the Milky Way, IMBHs drive the binaries to merge in up to 1-6% of cases, assuming five IMBHs within 5 pc of mass 10,000 solar masses each. Observations of binaries in the Galactic center may strongly constrain the population of IMBHs therein.

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