Chaotic loss cones, black hole fueling and the M•[BH] − σ[sigma] relation

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Title: Chaotic loss cones, black hole fueling and the M•[BH] − σ[sigma] relation
Author: Merritt, David; Poon, Mingyan
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.
Description: Also archived in: arXiv:astro-ph/0302296 v2 13 Aug 2003
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Date: 2004-05-10

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