‘Pac-Man-like’ mergers could explain massive, spinning black holes

The researchers at RIT suggest that as black holes circle around in the accretion disk, they eventually collide and merge to form a bigger black hole, which continues to devour smaller black holes, becoming increasingly large in what O’Shaughnessy calls “Pac-Man-like” behavior. It offers a natural way to explain high mass, high spin binary black hole mergers and to produce binaries in parts of parameter space that the other models cannot populate. There is no way to get certain types of black holes out of these other formation channels. RIT is a member of NYSERNet’s R&E Network. Read more here: https://bit.ly/2XAZJqS .

Picture Credit: Scott C. Noble (Simulation of an accretion disk surrounding a supermassive black hole.)