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Title: The final parsec problem: Aligning a binary with an external accretion disc
Authors: King, A. R.
Pringle,J. E.
First Published: 1-Oct-2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Citation: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, 2011, 417 (1)
Abstract: We consider the interaction between a binary system (e.g. two supermassive black holes or two stars) and an external accretion disc with misaligned angular momentum. This situation occurs in galaxy merger events involving supermassive black holes, and in the formation of stellar mass binaries in star clusters. We work out the gravitational torque between the binary and disc, and show that their angular momenta Jb, Jd stably counteralign if their initial orientation is sufficiently retrograde, specifically if the angle θ between them obeys cos θ < −Jd/2Jb, on a time short compared with the mass gain time of the central accretor(s). The magnitude Jb remains unchanged in this process. Counteralignment can promote the rapid merger of supermassive black hole binaries, and possibly the formation of coplanar but retrograde planets around stars in binary systems.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2011.01121.x
ISSN: 1745-3933
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2011 the authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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