Theoretical Astrophysics Seminars

20th Seminar (Part 2)


Modeling the Electromagnetic Signature of Merging Supermassive Black Holes

Takamitsu Tanaka

Max Planck Institut für Astrophysik


Recently, intense attention has focused on the possibility that merging supermassive black hole binaries could be observed with both electromagnetic and gravitational waves. Such multi-messenger studies would (i) probe dark energy out to z~10, and (ii) allow follow-up studies of active galactic nuclei with central engines whose masses and spins are independently known through gravitational waves. I will present semianalytic, time-dependent models of the electromagnetic signature of a thin accretion disk around a coalescing supermassive black hole binary. I will discuss several scenarios for observing such a signature.