Abstract

In classical loss cone theory, stars are supplied to a central black hole via gravitational scattering onto low angular momentum orbits. Higher feeding rates are possible if the gravitational potential near the black hole is non-axisymmetric and the orbits are chaotic. Motivated by recently published, self-consistent models, we evaluate rates of stellar capture and disruption in triaxial nuclei. Rates are found to substantially exceed those in collisionally-resupplied loss cones, as long as an appreciable fraction of the orbits are centrophilic. The mass captured by a black hole after a given time in a steep (ρ ∼ r−2) nucleus scales as σ5 with σ the stellar velocity dispersion, and the accumulated mass in 1010 yr is of the correct order to reproduce the M• − σ relation. Triaxiality can solve the “final parsec problem” of decaying black hole binaries by increasing the flux of stars into the binary’s loss cone.

Publication Date

5-10-2004

Comments

Also archived in: arXiv:astro-ph/0302296 v2 13 Aug 2003 This work was supported by NSF grants AST 00-71099 and AST 02-0631, and by NASA grants NAG5-6037 and NAG5-9046. M.Y. Poon is grateful to the Croucher Foundation for a postdoctoralfellowship.ISSN:1538-4357 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Article

Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)

Campus

RIT – Main Campus

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