We are back to “Massive Black Holes”

Happy Birthday Alberto!

Alberto Sesana (AEI) leads off with “Probing massive black holes with space-based interferometry and pulsar timing”
starts with overview of gravitational radiation – characteristic frequencies, amplitudes, timescales

Baby Black Holes – up for adoption, get collectible adoption certificates with a picture of your very own baby black hole, or one much like it
– this is eLISA’s plan for fundraising…
Ed – ok it is real it is an etsy thing and they are ***adorable***

quick pitch for eLISA/NGO
Ed: New improved eLISA web page – see comment

quick pitch for NANOGrav

Ooh, huge fig of nothing but pulsar timing residuals, good pulsar timing residuals
truly a sight to gladden the heart…

NANOGrav collaboration hopes to have detection of the statistical existence of the all low frequency gravitational radiation sources in the 2016-2020 window, earlier if they are lucky.

Interesting question from Cole on whether to optimize timing for the background or to chase after individual brightest sources. Sims suggest much better bet to look for background first and get cross-correlation of multiple sources, then focus on the brightest ones.

Scott Noble (Rochester) on “Predicting the needle in the haystack: simulating accreting supermassive binary black holes”
electromagnetic signatures from grav rad mergers (gas rich)

baseline model (numerical GR-MHD – HARM3D code) from series of papers on single BH accretion disk, eg looking at flicker variability
now looking at pre/post merger binary black hole observational signals
looking at SEDs, not spectra near as I can tell

see interesting structure in circumbinary disks, settled from initial conditions – consistent with newtonian MHD sims
is *M*HD code – must add *magnetic fields* to sims…
what they really need is emission spectra synthesized from sims

Carlos Lousto (Rochester) – “Astrophysical effects of gravitational radiation in black-hole binaries”

implications of radiation recoil
observational consequences: displaced galactic nuclei, offset AGN, empty galactic centers, trails

Carlos does interpretative dance of how in-plane spins lead to orthogonal to plane superkicks
Audience applauds
Nicely done
This is how you do interpretative dance of Black Hole interaction!

and another one!
Carlos does interpretative dance of superkick from aligned spins due to hangup from a > 1 – we skip over hangup the movie…
This is worrying 2,000 km/sec kick for aligned spins due to higher order spin terms
Nicely done again, btw.
cf “Gravitational Recoil From Accretion-Aligned Black-Hole Binaries”

back from break

Scott Hughes (MIT) “Gravitational waves from massive black hole binaries”
good intro to basics of GR as relevant to grav rad in this context
followed by lots of post-Newtonian algebra
I love the chirp soundfiles.
Though I think really to do it properly you ought to whistle it… no mp3s!

Now making the case for eLISA and why you can still do science with 2 arms…

Sarah Burke-Spolaor (JPL) “Observational investigations of late-stage binary supermassive black hole candidates”

eVLA is amazing
VLBA still does kewl stuff
quick spiel on NANOGrav
multiple target choices for binary SMBH
looking at flat core large galaxies

eg Abell 2261 BCG – cf Postman etal 2012
offset radio jet in core, core not symmetric to envelope
maybe δv signature from post merger SMBH

and offset emission line galaxies
eVLA/VLBA followup of Eracleous et al sample of emission line candidates
are they binaries, or recoiling SMBH or just seeing entrained gas in SMBH jet
half sample have eVLA detected compact radio counterparts

Constanze Roedig (Johns Hopkins) “Migration of super-massive BH binaries in self-gravitating disks: prograde versus retrograde configurations and their observational implications”

interesting analysis of retrograde vs prograde orbit evolution in gas disk
radial orbit instability rediscovered, again,

Saavik Ford (CUNY/AMNH/KITP) “Signatures of massive black hole mergers: What should we look for”

Actually talking about IMBH embedded in accretion disks around SMBH
followon from McKernan’s talk on first day

hoping for SED signatures of the gap etc
illuminated backwall (cf Jang-Condell papers on protoplanetary disks) also a possibility
maybe Feα lines
hard to do

Reminder: all talks are online here – podcast, audio and video – slides of talks will also appear soon as the overworked speakers get their act together and send pdfs of slides to organizers


  1. #1 Benjamin Knispel
    August 7, 2013

    Dear Stein,

    thanks for this post. I’d like to draw your attention to the new webpage for the eLISA mission at
    https://www.elisascience.org/, which will be entering the competition for ESA’s next L-class missions (L2/3).

    The accompanying White Paper “The gravitational universe” will be presented to ESA on 3-4 September 2013 in a meeting in Paris: http://sci.esa.int/cosmic-vision/51983-presentation-meeting-l2-and-l3-science-themes/, together with the other White Papers.

    Best, Benjamin