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Millisecond pulsars around intermediate-mass black holes in globular clusters


Devecchi, B; Colpi, M; Mapelli, M; Possenti, A (2007). Millisecond pulsars around intermediate-mass black holes in globular clusters. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 380(2):691-702.

Abstract

Globular clusters (GCs) are expected to be breeding grounds for the formation of single or binary intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) of ≳100 M⊙, but a clear signature of their existence is still missing. In this context, we study the process of dynamical capture of a millisecond pulsar (MSP) by a single or binary IMBH, simulating various types of single-binary and binary-binary encounters. It is found that [IMBH, MSP] binaries form over cosmic time in a cluster, at rates ≲10−11 yr−1, via encounters of wide-orbit binary MSPs off the single IMBH, and at a lower pace, via interactions of (binary or single) MSPs with the IMBH orbited by a typical cluster star. The formation of an [IMBH, MSP] system is strongly inhibited if the IMBH is orbited by a stellar mass black hole (BH): in this case, the only viable path is through the formation of a rare stable hierarchical triplet with the MSP orbiting exterior to the [IMBH, BH] binary. The [IMBH, MSP] binaries that form are relatively short-lived, ≲108−109 yr, since their orbits decay via emission of gravitational waves. The detection of an [IMBH, MSP] system has a low probability of occurrence, when inferred from the current sample of MSPs in GCs. If next-generation radio telescopes, like Square Kilometre Array (SKA), will detect an order of magnitude larger population of MSP in GCs, at least one [IMBH, MSP] is expected. Therefore, a complete search for low-luminosity MSPs in the GCs of the Milky Way with SKA will have the potential of testing the hypothesis that IMBHs of the order of 100 M⊙ are commonly hosted in GCs. The discovery will unambiguously prove that BHs exist in the still uncharted interval of masses around ≳100 M

Abstract

Globular clusters (GCs) are expected to be breeding grounds for the formation of single or binary intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) of ≳100 M⊙, but a clear signature of their existence is still missing. In this context, we study the process of dynamical capture of a millisecond pulsar (MSP) by a single or binary IMBH, simulating various types of single-binary and binary-binary encounters. It is found that [IMBH, MSP] binaries form over cosmic time in a cluster, at rates ≲10−11 yr−1, via encounters of wide-orbit binary MSPs off the single IMBH, and at a lower pace, via interactions of (binary or single) MSPs with the IMBH orbited by a typical cluster star. The formation of an [IMBH, MSP] system is strongly inhibited if the IMBH is orbited by a stellar mass black hole (BH): in this case, the only viable path is through the formation of a rare stable hierarchical triplet with the MSP orbiting exterior to the [IMBH, BH] binary. The [IMBH, MSP] binaries that form are relatively short-lived, ≲108−109 yr, since their orbits decay via emission of gravitational waves. The detection of an [IMBH, MSP] system has a low probability of occurrence, when inferred from the current sample of MSPs in GCs. If next-generation radio telescopes, like Square Kilometre Array (SKA), will detect an order of magnitude larger population of MSP in GCs, at least one [IMBH, MSP] is expected. Therefore, a complete search for low-luminosity MSPs in the GCs of the Milky Way with SKA will have the potential of testing the hypothesis that IMBHs of the order of 100 M⊙ are commonly hosted in GCs. The discovery will unambiguously prove that BHs exist in the still uncharted interval of masses around ≳100 M

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:1 September 2007
Deposited On:09 Nov 2018 18:44
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:42
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12160.x
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicenceoxford101111j13652966200712160x (Library Catalogue)

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