Research Activities > Programs > Matter and Electromagnetic Fields in Strong Gravity

Matter and Electromagnetic Fields in Strong Gravity

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The interplay of black hole binaries with their environment in gas-rich mergers

Marta Volonteri

University of Michigan


Abstract:   I will discuss the evolution of massive black hole binaries during the last phases of galaxy mergers. We explore the evolution of merging black holes via high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations designed to follow the dynamics of black holes in merger remnants, while tracing gas accretion onto the holes with high accuracy. We find that the mass accretion rate and the hole's dynamics and the thermodynamical properties of the gas are strictly related. These simulations also allow us to trace the evolution of the magnitude and orientation of black hole spins self-consistently. I will discuss the implications of these results for the cosmic evolution of the massive black hole population.

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