Seminar Series

Black hole and neutron stars in globular clusters


Associate Professor Tom Maccarone


Texas Tech University

Time & Place

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:00:00 NZST in Rutherford 531, Level 5

All are welcome


I will discuss the dynamics of globular star clusters, the densest stellar regions in the universe. In these clusters close fly-bys and even collisions between stars can take place, leading to a dramatic enhancement in the rate at which close binary stars form. For a long period of time, it was believed that these dynamical interactions would lead to the ejection of their black holes. Over the past decade, we have uncovered evidence that substantial numbers of black holes are retained in globular clusters, and end up in binary systems where they accrete mass from their companions. Interestingly, some of these companions appear to be white dwarf stars, leading to ultracompact binaries driven by gravitational wave emission.