case western reserve university



How Black Holes Get Their Kicks

Kelly Holley-Bockelmann (Vanderbilt)

Finally, computer simulations can merge two black holes in full general relativity -- and the latest results reveal a big surprise: when two black holes merge, the new black hole gets a gravitational wave kick with a velocity as high as 4000 km/s. A kick this fast can send even a supermassive black hole careening out of its home galaxy. How, then, do galaxies - especially low mass ones in the early universe - retain supermassive black holes after they merge? We will explore this and other consequences of kicking black holes in this talk.