We present preliminary results from self-consistent, high resolution direct N-body simulations of massive black hole binaries in mergers of galactic nuclei. The dynamics of the black hole binary includes the full Post-Newtonian corrections (up to 2.5PN) to its equations of motion. We show that massive black holes starting at separations of 100 pc can evolve down to gravitational-wave-induced coalescence in less than a Hubble time. The binaries, in our models, often form with very high eccentricity and, as a result, reach separations of 50 Schwarzschild radius with eccentricities which are clearly distinct from zero — even though gravitational wave emission damps the eccentricity during the inspiral. These deviations from exact circular orbits, at such small separations, may have important consequences for LISA data analysis.
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School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)
Miguel Preto et al 2009 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 154 012049
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