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Orbital Evolution of Binaries in Circumbinary Disks

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Isobel Romero-Shaw.

I will present the to-date largest parameter space exploration of binaries in circumbinary disks (CBDs), deriving orbital evolution prescriptions for eccentric, unequal mass binaries from our suite of hydrodynamic simulations. In all cases, binary eccentricities evolve towards steady state values that increase with mass ratio, and saturate at an equilibrium eccentricity e_{b,eq} ~ 0.5 in the large mass ratio regime, in line with resonant theory. For binaries accreting at their combined Eddington limit, a steady state eccentricity can be achieved within a few Megayears. Once at their steady state eccentricities, binaries with mass ratios greater than q_b > 0.3 evolve towards coalescence, while lower mass ratio systems expand due to CBD torques. I will discuss implications for population studies of massive black hole binaries, protostars in binary systems, and post-common envelope binaries observed by ground-based gravitational wave detectors.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Friday GR Seminar series.

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