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Keywords:

  • black hole physics;
  • methods: numerical;
  • globular clusters: general

ABSTRACT

We report on results of fully consistent N-body simulations of globular cluster models with N= 100 000 members containing neutron stars and black holes (BHs). Using the improved ‘algorithmic regularization’ method of Hellström & Mikkola for compact subsystems, the new code nbody7 enables for the first time general relativistic coalescence to be achieved for post-Newtonian terms and realistic parameters. Following an early stage of mass segregation, a few BHs form a small dense core which usually leads to the formation of one dominant binary. The subsequent evolution by dynamical shrinkage involves the competing processes of ejection and mergers by radiation energy loss. Unless the binary is ejected, long-lived triple systems often exhibit Kozai cycles with extremely high inner eccentricity (e > 0.999) which may terminate in coalescence at a few Schwarzschild radii. A characteristic feature is that ordinary stars as well as BHs and even BH binaries are ejected with high velocities. On the basis of the models studied so far, the results suggest a limited growth of a few remaining stellar mass BHs in globular clusters.