Chennai Mathematical Institute


Date/Time: 28th April 2022, 2 PM
Venue: Lecture Hall 5, CMI
Who ordered LIGO's most massive black hole?

V. Gayathri
University of Florida.


We know of the existence of so-called stellar-mass black holes that form when stars die, and much heavier, supermassive black holes located in the centres of galaxies. It has been an open question whether there is anything between these two populations, in the mass range of 10^2-10^5 solar masses. These so-called intermediate-mass black holes could be a missing link that connects the supermassive and stellar-mass black hole populations. The LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories are sensitive to collisions of black holes with up to about 10^3 solar masses. They have already started seeing black holes that are more massive than what we expected from stars. I will outline possible ways intermediate-mass black holes can form in the universe and discuss what we learned about the possible origin of such events from LIGO-Virgo's observations so far.