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Astronomy Colloquium: Steinn Sigurdsson

Date: Wed. February 15th, 2017, 3:00 pm-4:00 pm
Location: Sears 552

How black holes get their kicks: dynamical evolution and coalescence

Steinn Sigurdsson (Penn State U)

Recent observations have increased interest in the possibilities of a significant population of black hole binaries in the local universe. Natal kicks may play a crucial role in the merger rate of stellar mass black holes. Dynamical evolution can lead to an enhanced interaction rate for compact binaries in dense stellar systems and a distinct and richer population of compact binaries. I discuss some of the issues related to black hole binary formation and coalescence, and the issue of retention in globular clusters. I speculate on some possible signatures that might distinguish the cluster black holes from the field population.

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