Planting seeds for gravitational wave generators around active galactic nuclei

UC Santa Cruz
Higgs Centre Seminar Room, JCMB
Friday, May 13, 2016
13:00 to 14:00

Advanced LIGO event GW150914 has been attributed to the coalescence of

two black holes with masses more than double that of most known stellar

black holes. Formation of such stellar black holes directly through

supernova explosions requires massive, metal-deficient progenitors.

This requirement and their nearly equal masses may not be compatible

with its occurrence in the local Universe.  I consider an alternative

possibility which may lead to the robust production of binary black

holes with masses up to a hundred solar masses in the proximity of

active galactic    nuclei (AGN's).    I will describe some relevant mechanisms

which are analogous to the astrophysics of planet formation. I will

discuss the implications of this scenario in the context of structure

and evolution of AGN disks including the cause of their    super solar

metallicity, duty cycle    of their active    phase, and the rapid growth

of their central massive black holes.