What are the formation channels of black hole binaries?

11 January 2018 - at 14.30
Versione stampabile

Venue: Room B102, Polo Scientifico e Tecnologico "Fabio Ferari" Povo2
Hour: 14.30

  • Prof. Michela Mapelli Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics, Leopold Franzens Universitat Innsbruck
    INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova


On September 14 2015, the LIGO interferometers captured a gravitational wave (GW) signal from two merging black holes (BHs), opening the era of GW astrophysics. Five BH mergers have been reported so far, three of them involving massive BHs (>30 solar masses).
According to stellar evolution models, such massive BHs can originate from massive relatively metal-poor stars. In this talk, I will discuss the main formation pathways of merging BHs with particular attention to the main open questions and to the next frontiers of population synthesis and dynamical models.

Michela Mapelli received her PhD in Astrophysics from SISSA in 2006. For her PhD thesis, she was awarded both the Gratton and the Tacchini Prizes. In 2007, she joined the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Zurich with a postdoctoral fellowship, and, in 2011, she became permanent research staff at INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova. In 2015, Michela was awarded the MERAC Prize for the Best Early-Career Researcher in Theoretical Astrophysics "for her theoretical and computational contributions to the formation of massive stellar black holes." From September 2017 she is full professor and Chair of the Extragalactic Group at the University of Innsbruck. Michela has been recently awarded an ERC consolidator grant for her project DEMOBLACK: Demography of Black Hole Binaries in the Era of Gravitational Wave Astronomy.