Black hole demography in the era of gravitational-wave astronomy

by Michela Mapelli

Friday, 22 June 2018 from to (Europe/Vienna)
On September 14 2015, the LIGO interferometers captured a gravitational wave signal from two merging black holes (BHs), opening the era of gravitational-wave astronomy. Five BH mergers have been reported so far, three of them involving massive BHs (>30 solar masses). Understanding their formation channels is currently one of the main challenges of astrophysics. In this talk, I will discuss the impact of progenitor's metallicity and of several binary evolution processes on the mass of merging black holes. Dynamical processes also affect the formation of black hole binaries: dynamical exchanges in star clusters can lead to the formation of massive binaries with relatively high eccentricity and misaligned spins. The runaway collision process can even lead to the formation of intermediate-mass black holes. Finally, I will discuss the BH merger rate evolution across cosmic time and the properties of the host galaxies of coalescing BHs.