case western reserve university



Intermediate-Mass Black Holes

M. Coleman Miller (University of Maryland)

Black holes have historically been thought to come in two flavors: between a few and tens of solar masses, formed in supernovae; and millions to billions of solar masses, grown in the centers of galaxies. However, several recent lines of evidence point to a class of intermediate-mass black holes that exists in a number of dense stellar clusters. These black holes are expected to be found in binaries. As a result, three and four body interactions are common, in a realm including both Newtonian effects and general relativistic effects such as precession of the pericenter and orbital evolution due to gravitational radiation. These objects may therefore be a new source of gravitational waves with unique properties. We will discuss the possibility of detecting this gravitational radiation with future instruments such as LISA and LIGO II, and speculate on current observations that will test our predictions.