Contributed Talk - Splinter Stellar

Friday, 25 September 2020, 17:35   (virtual room M)

Can Massive stars produce BHs with masses in the Pair-Instability Mass Gap?

L. van Son
CfA Harvard

Gravitational waves are now probing the final remnants of massive stars. The theory of Massive Star evolution theory predicts a gap in the mass distribution of stellar-mass black holes between about 45 and 140 solar masses due to pair-instability supernovae (PISN). This prediction appears remarkably robust against variations in stellar evolution models. The results of the first two observing runs by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors are consistent with this prediction so far. The lives and deaths of the massive stars that are the progenitors of such massive BHs are not well understood. Understanding if and how a black hole with a mass in the gap can be formed is essential to understand the final stages of massive stellar evolution and the formation of binary black holes. In this talk, I will explore possibilities for creating black holes with masses in the gap, and I will discuss several formation channels, ranging from dynamical interactions to isolated binary evolution including super-Eddington mass accretion onto black holes.