The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) has recently reported evidence for the presence of a common stochastic signal across their array of pulsars. The origin of this signal is still unclear. One of the possibilities is that it is due to a stochastic gravitational wave background (SGWB) in the ∼1−10nHz frequency region. Taking the NANOGrav observational result at face value, we show that this signal would be fully consistent with a SGWB produced by an unresolved population of in-spiralling massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) predicted by current theoretical models. Considering an astrophysically agnostic model we find that the MBHB merger rate is loosely constrained to the range 10−11−2 Mpc−3Gyr−1. Including additional constraints from galaxy pairing fractions and MBH-bulge scaling relations, we find that the MBHB merger rate is 10−5−5×10−4 Mpc−3Gyr−1, the MBHB merger time-scale is ≤3Gyr and the norm of the MBH−Mbulge relation ≥1.2×108M⊙ (all intervals quoted at 90% confidence). Regardless of the astrophysical details of MBHB assembly, this result would imply that a sufficiently large population of massive black holes pair up, form binaries and merge within a Hubble time.

Massive black hole binary systems and the NANOGrav 12.5 yr results

Walter Del Pozzo;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) has recently reported evidence for the presence of a common stochastic signal across their array of pulsars. The origin of this signal is still unclear. One of the possibilities is that it is due to a stochastic gravitational wave background (SGWB) in the ∼1−10nHz frequency region. Taking the NANOGrav observational result at face value, we show that this signal would be fully consistent with a SGWB produced by an unresolved population of in-spiralling massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) predicted by current theoretical models. Considering an astrophysically agnostic model we find that the MBHB merger rate is loosely constrained to the range 10−11−2 Mpc−3Gyr−1. Including additional constraints from galaxy pairing fractions and MBH-bulge scaling relations, we find that the MBHB merger rate is 10−5−5×10−4 Mpc−3Gyr−1, the MBHB merger time-scale is ≤3Gyr and the norm of the MBH−Mbulge relation ≥1.2×108M⊙ (all intervals quoted at 90% confidence). Regardless of the astrophysical details of MBHB assembly, this result would imply that a sufficiently large population of massive black holes pair up, form binaries and merge within a Hubble time.
2021
Middleton, Hannah; Sesana, Alberto; Chen, Siyuan; Vecchio, Alberto; DEL POZZO, Walter; Rosado, Pablo A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1083085
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