Finding the electromagnetic counterparts of standard sirens

B. Kocsis, Z. Frei, Z. Haiman, K. Menou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The gravitational waves (GWs) emitted during the coalescence of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) will be detectable with the future Laser Interferometric Space Antenna (LISA). The direction and distance can be determined from the accumulated GW signal with a precision that increases rapidly in the final stages of the inspiral. We find that for M = (105 - 107)M near z = 1 the angular uncertainty decreases under 1° at least several hours before the plunge, allowing a targeted electromagnetic (EM) observation of the final stages of the merger with a wide field instrument. We then calculate the size of the final, three dimensional error volume. Under the plausible assumption that SMBH-SMBH mergers are accompanied by gas accretion leading to Eddington-limited quasar activity, we find that many cases this error volume will contain at most a single quasar for M = (105 - 107) M near z = 1. This will allow a straightforward test of the hypothesis that GW events are accompanied by bright quasar activity. The identification and observation of counterparts would allow unprecedented tests of the physics of MBH accretion, such as precision-measurements of the Eddington ratio. They would clarify the role of gas as a catalyst in SMBH coalescences, and would also offer an alternative method to constrain cosmological parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationESO Astrophysics Symposia
Pages82-86
Number of pages5
Volume2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameESO Astrophysics Symposia
Volume2008
ISSN (Print)14312433
ISSN (Electronic)16116143

Fingerprint

sirens
gravitational waves
quasars
electromagnetism
coalescing
gases
antennas
catalysts
physics
lasers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Kocsis, B., Frei, Z., Haiman, Z., & Menou, K. (2008). Finding the electromagnetic counterparts of standard sirens. In ESO Astrophysics Symposia (Vol. 2008, pp. 82-86). (ESO Astrophysics Symposia; Vol. 2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-74713-0_18

Finding the electromagnetic counterparts of standard sirens. / Kocsis, B.; Frei, Z.; Haiman, Z.; Menou, K.

ESO Astrophysics Symposia. Vol. 2008 2008. p. 82-86 (ESO Astrophysics Symposia; Vol. 2008).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Kocsis, B, Frei, Z, Haiman, Z & Menou, K 2008, Finding the electromagnetic counterparts of standard sirens. in ESO Astrophysics Symposia. vol. 2008, ESO Astrophysics Symposia, vol. 2008, pp. 82-86. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-74713-0_18
Kocsis B, Frei Z, Haiman Z, Menou K. Finding the electromagnetic counterparts of standard sirens. In ESO Astrophysics Symposia. Vol. 2008. 2008. p. 82-86. (ESO Astrophysics Symposia). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-74713-0_18
Kocsis, B. ; Frei, Z. ; Haiman, Z. ; Menou, K. / Finding the electromagnetic counterparts of standard sirens. ESO Astrophysics Symposia. Vol. 2008 2008. pp. 82-86 (ESO Astrophysics Symposia).
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