Workshop on Massive Black Hole Binaries and Their Coalescence in Galactic Nuclei

KIAA, Peking University, Beijing    July 20-25, 2009
    Massive black hole binaries are predicted by hierarchical galaxy formation models, and galaxy mergers are observed frequently in the Universe. The binary black hole coalescence gives rise to strong gravitational wave radiation. Detecting this radiation is the main goal of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), and the ongoing gravitational wave detection program based on pulsar timing (PTA). Recent breakthroughs in numerical relativity have allowed us to accurately simulate the merging process of binary black holes with random masses and spin angular momenta. Mass and spin of the merged black hole, the character of the formed gravitational waves, and the recoil velocity sensitively depend on the initial parameters of the binary system, which are in turn affected by the astrophysical environment in which the merger occurs. How efficiently the massive black hole binaries formed in galaxy mergers actually coalesce, is determined by the interaction of massive black hole binaries with the gaseous and stellar environment in galactic nuclei. The black hole coalescence rate, and their mass and spin evolution, in turn is a very important parameter in the context of understanding galaxy formation and evolution at the epoch of structure formation, the feedback of black holes to the galaxy structure and activity in galactic nuclei. Therefore, accurate modeling of the early phase of black hole mergers, of the late phase of gravitational wave emission, and of the electromagnetic signatures of binary black holes and recoiling black holes are of great interest. Our workshop on "Massive Black Hole Binaries and Their Coalescence in Galactic Nuclei" aims at bringing together experts from the different fields, linking simulations and observations. It will be held at the newly founded Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Peking University (KIAA-PKU) in July 20-25, 2009. The number of participants of the workshop will be limited to about 70. If the number of applications exceeds the maximum number, participants will be selected on a first come first serve basis.

  The workshop will cover the following themes:
1. The link of massive black hole binaries to the galaxy formation and evolution.
2. The theory and numerical hydrodynamic simulations of massive black hole binaries in gas-rich galactic nuclei.
3. The theory and numerical computations on stellar dynamics of massive black hole binaries in galactic nuclei.
4. The astrophysics of massive black hole binaries.
5. The electromagnetic signatures of binary black holes and recoiling lack holes and their effects on the activities of active galactic nuclei and transient activities of normal galactic nuclei, including the current observations of massive black hole binaries and recoiling black holes.
6. Numerical simulations and approximation techniques of the mergers of black hole binaries.
7. The detection of gravitational waves.

KIAA-PKU promotes basic research in China with the highest international standards and carries out research on astronomy and astrophysics. The KIAA buildings with traditional Chinese architectural style is located inside the beautiful area of the university campus, Langrunyuan near Weimins Lake which was a part of the Old Summer Palace. The campus of Peking University at the side of Yuanmingyuan is located in the Northwest part of Beijing city and is only about 20 minutes walking distance from the Summer Palace and only about 50 minutes from the Great Wall by car. It is also very convenient for one to go from the university campus to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. It is also very easy to reach from Beijing Capital International airport. A total solar eclipse will take place in central China on July 22, 2009, during our workshop. However, we will neither arrange a trip to see it, nor encourage  participants to go individually.

First announcement in Chinese (pdf)
First announcement in English (pdf)

Sponsored by:

     Peking University (PKU), National Astronomical Observatory of China (NAOC), Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (ShAO), Chinese national 973 program "Cosmic Large-scale Structure and the Formation and Evolution of Galaxies" , Chinese Astronomical Society (Series No. 409)

Invited reviews

Centrella, J. (NASA)
Jenet, F. (UTB)
Komossa, S. (MPE)
Liu, F.K. (PKU)
Magorrian, J. (U. Oxford)
Makino, J. (U. Tokyo)
Mayer, L. (U. Zurich)
Rezzolla, L. (AEI)
Sathyaprakash, B.S.(U. Cardiff)
Spurzem, R. (U. Heidelberg)
Valtonen, M.J. (Turku U.)
Yu, Q.J. (PKU)

Invited and highlight talks

Amaro-Seoane, P. (AEI)
Berczik, P. (U. Heidelberg)
Berentzen, I. (U. Heidelberg)
Berti, E. (Ole Miss)
Colpi, M. (U. Milano Bicocca)
Cuadra, J. (SHAO/MPA)
Gopakumar, A. (TIFR)
Sesana, A. (PSU)
Sudou, H. (Gifu U.)
Zier, C. (MPIfR)