Formation pathway of Population III coalescing binary black holes through stable mass transfer

Kohei Inayoshi, Ryosuke Hirai, Tomoya Kinugawa, Kenta Hotokezaka

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We study the formation of stellar mass binary black holes (BBHs) originating from Population III (PopIII) stars, performing stellar evolution simulations for PopIII binaries with MESA. We find that a significant fraction of PopIII binaries form massive BBHs through stable mass transfer between two stars in a binary, without experiencing common envelope phases. We investigate necessary conditions required for PopIII binaries to form coalescing BBHs with a semi-analytical model calibrated by the stellar evolution simulations. The BBH formation efficiency is estimated for two different initial conditions for PopIII binaries with large and small separations, respectively. Consequently, in both models, ∼10 per cent of the total PopIII binaries form BBHs only through stable mass transfer and ∼10 per cent of these BBHs merge due to gravitational wave emission within the Hubble time. Furthermore, the chirp mass of merging BBHs has a flat distribution over 15 ≲ Mchirp/M⊙ ≲ 35. This formation pathway of PopIII BBHs is presumably robust because stable mass transfer is less uncertain than common envelope evolution, which is the main formation channel for Population II BBHs. We also test the hypothesis that the BBH mergers detected by LIGO originate from PopIII stars using the total number of PopIII stars formed in the early universe as inferred from the optical depth measured by Planck. We conclude that the PopIII BBH formation scenario can explain the mass-weighted merger rate of the LIGO's O1 events with the maximal PopIII formation efficiency inferred from the Planck measurement, even without BBHs formed by unstable mass transfer or common envelope phases.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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