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Physical Sciences

2nd Place Poster Award Winner

Probing Massive Black Hole Populations and Their Environments with LISA

Michael Katz, et al.

Physics and Astronomy
April, 2018
DOI: 10.21985/N2PD8W
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Abstract

ESA and NASA are moving forward with plans to launch LISA around 2030. With data from the Illustris large-scale cosmological simulation, we provide analysis of LISA detection rates accompanied by characterization of the merging massive black holes and their host galaxies. Massive black holes of total mass are the main focus of this study. Using a custom treatment for the binary massive black hole evolutionary process, we evolve Illustris massive black hole particle mergers from scales until coalescence to achieve a merger distribution. With the Illustris output as a statistical basis, we Monte Carlo synthesize many realizations of the merging massive black hole population across space and time. We use those realizations to build mock LISA detection catalogs to understand the impact of LISA mission configurations on our ability to probe massive black hole merger populations and their environments throughout the visible universe.

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