Merging Black Holes in Astrophysics
Manuela Campanelli (Rochester Institute of Technology)
July 13, 2015
Abstract: Our understanding of the final stages of black hole mergers has improved tremendously during the past few years. Among the most remarkable discoveries is the one that merging pair of spinning black holes can generate a very strong emission of gravitational waves in the last few orbits of the collision and in some cases cause the merger remnant black hole to recoil thousands of km/s. The detection these gravitational waves is now just few years into the future. It will be major breakthrough in fundamental physics. It will open a new window onto the universe. For supermassive black-holes in galactic nuclei, these merger events are also expected to be accompanied by observable electromagnetic signals from the surrounding gaseous disks. In this talk, I will review some of the most existing results and will highlight the field’s next challenges with emphasis on applications to both gravitational wave and electromagnetic astronomy and relativistic astrophysics. I will also present recent new calculations of magneto-hydrodynamics accretion disks around inspiralling supermassive black- holes in galactic nuclei suggesting that these systems could be very luminous at the end stage of their evolution.