Scientists have reported that they have discovered gravitational waves from 10 black hole fusions, but they still try to explain the origins of these fusions. The largest concentration ever identified appears to defy earlier models as it has a higher spin and bulk than the range it considers possible. A group of researchers, including the Deputy Professor of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Richard O & # 39; Shaughnessy, has created simulations that could explain how the merger came about.

In a new article published in Physical Review Letters, the researchers suggest that such large fusions could take place just outside supermassive black holes in the center of active galactic nuclei. Gas, stars, dust and black holes are trapped in a region that surrounds supermassive black holes, known as the accretion disk.

The researchers speculate that black holes, as they revolve in the accretion disk, eventually collide and unite into a larger black hole that continues to devour smaller black holes and what O & # 39; Shaughnessy calls "Pac-Man-like." , getting bigger. Behavior.

"This is a very tempting prospect for those of us who work in this field," said O & # 39; Shaughnessy, a member of the RIT Center for Computer-Aided Relativity and Gravitation (CCRG). "It provides a natural way of explaining high-mass, high-spin binary black-hole fusions and creating binaries in portions of the parameter space that other models can not populate, and there is no way to trap certain types of black holes from those other formation channels to get out. "

While the collaboration between LIGO and Virgo continues to search for gravitational waves, O & # 39; Shaughnessy and his colleagues hope to find signatures of large, spinning black holes that could help validate their models. If their assumptions are correct, we can better understand how the cosmic web of galaxies is composed.

"This could be a unique opportunity to study physics around these supermassive black holes in ways that can not be studied in any other way," said O & # 39; Shaughnessy. "It provides a unique insight into the growth of galaxy centers, which, of course, is important in understanding how galaxies grow overall, which explains most of the structure in the universe."

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Rochester Institute of Technology

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Scientists may have discovered a whole new class of black holes

Columbus OH (SPX) November 01, 2019

Black holes are an important part of how astrophysicists understand the universe – so important that scientists have tried to make a count of all black holes in the Milky Way.

However, new research shows that their search may have overlooked a whole class of black holes that they did not know existed.

In a study published in the journal Science, astronomers are offering a new way to search for black holes and show that there is a class of black holes that is smaller than … read more