In this Letter, we revisit arguments suggesting that the Bardeen–Petterson effect can coalign the spins of a central supermassive black hole binary accreting from a circumbinary (or circumnuclear) gas disc. We improve on previous estimates by adding the dependence on system parameters and noting that the non-linear nature of warp propagation in a thin viscous disc affects alignment. This reduces the disc’s ability to communicate the warp, and can severely reduce the effectiveness of disc-assisted spin alignment. We test our predictions with a Monte Carlo realization of random misalignments and accretion rates, and we find that the outcome depends strongly on the spin magnitude. We estimate a generous upper limit to the probability of alignment by making assumptions which favour it throughout. Even with these assumptions, about 40 per cent of black holes with a ≳ 0.5 do not have time to align with the disc. If the residual misalignment is not small and it is maintained down to the final coalescence phase, this can give a powerful recoil velocity to the merged hole. Highly spinning black holes are thus more likely being subject to strong recoils, the occurrence of which is currently debated.
|Titolo:||Black hole mergers : do gas discs lead to spin alignment?|
|Parole Chiave:||Accretion, accretion discs; Black hole physics; Galaxies:Evolution; Galaxies:Nuclei|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore FIS/05 - Astronomia e Astrofisica|
|Data di pubblicazione:||feb-2013|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1093/mnrasl/sls018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|