Research Division Seminar
Population synthesis of massive stars with compact companions in the Small Magellanic Cloud
Most high mass X-ray binaries contain neutron stars as companions to an OB star, while high mass black hole binaries are very rare. We use rapid binary population synthesis to predict the number and properties of OB stars with compact companions, while varying uncertain physics assumptions. We find that synthetic populations which agree with the population properties of Be stars, Wolf-Rayet stars, and neutron stars forecast a large and so far undetected population of massive black hole binaries with orbital periods between a few days and 1000 days. To find or rule out this population is key for quantifying the contribution of isolated binaries to the merging massive black holes found through their gravitational wave emission.
About the talk
University of Bonn; Argelander-Institut für Astronomie
About the speaker
Christoph Schürmann did his bachelor in physics and his master in astrophysics at the University of Bonn with a thesis about the formation and evolution of millisecond pulsars. At the Argelander Institute for Astronomy and the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy he is now finalising his PhD in astrophysics about massive binary stars under the supervision of Norbert Langer. His research interests are the physics of interacting binaries and population synthesis of post-interaction massive binary stars.