Artist’s impression of two black holes colliding.

Formation of merging double compact objects

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It is now established that most massive stars are members of a binary or a higher-order stellar systems. More often than not, these stars will interact during their evolution which eventually leads to the formation of merging compact objects, such as black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs. Over hundreds of millions of years, these systems slowly spiral inward towards each other, eventually colliding. During the last seconds of their life these compact objects orbit each others at ever increasing rate emitting extreme amount of energy in gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time which travel at the speed of light and carry with them information about the their source.


Current ground based gravitational wave observatories such as LIGO, Virgo, and KAGRA and future space based detectors like LISA can detect gravitational waves emitted by merging double compact objects. Interacting binaries are arguably the most important astrophysical laboratories available for the study of compact objects. While some aspects of the astrophysics of these binaries can be obtained from observations and modelling of present-day properties of individual, well- studied systems, more comprehensive insight requires understanding their astrophysical origin, population properties, evolutionary links to other stellar systems, and interplay with their environments.


Tassos Fragos’ group actively works on developing a next-generation binary population synthesis code – POSYDON – incorporating full stellar structure and binary evolution modelling. Binary population synthesis is a modelling technique that allows scientists to rapidly evolve millions of binary systems and hence obtain statistical properties of compact object astrophysical observables. These modelling advancements are crucial because, e.g., black- holes spins depend on the stellar and binary evolution interaction history and are currently poorly predicted in standard rapid population synthesis models.


Liste de références


Liste des chercheurs impliqués

Tassos Fragos

Vice-Coordinateur, Membre Du Bureau Exécutif

Simone Bavera

Membre Du Bureau Exécutif

Zepei Xing