Undergraduate Research Journal


Compact objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, and low mass black holes captured by supermassive black holes, which sit at the center of galaxies with masses over 106 solar masses or greater, generate a background noise in gravitational waves that affects the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) observations. We discuss a way to describe the capture rates by supermassive black holes in an attempt to describe the gravitational waves that will be detected as this background noise in the universe. In order to do this, we calculate the number of black holes in space as a function of mass across cosmic time and the number of merger events per unit time.



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