Metallicity-constrained merger rates of binary black holes and the stochastic gravitational wave background

Irina Dvorkin, Elisabeth Vangioni, Joseph Silk, Jean Philippe Uzan, Keith A. Olive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


The recent detection of the binary black hole merger GW150914 demonstrates the existence of black holes more massive than previously observed in X-ray binaries in our Galaxy. This article explores different scenarios of black hole formation in the context of self-consistent cosmic chemical evolution models that simultaneously match observations of the cosmic star formation rate, optical depth to reionization and metallicity of the interstellar medium. This framework is used to calculate the mass distribution of merging black hole binaries and its evolution with redshift. We also study the implications of the black hole mass distribution for the stochastic gravitational wave background from mergers and from core-collapse events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3877-3885
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank Vuk Mandic and Chris Belczynski for their constructive comments on the manuscript and the referee Tania Regimbau for very helpful suggestions. The work of ID and JS was supported by the ERC Project No. 267117 (DARK) hosted by Université Pierreet Marie Curie (UPMC) - Paris 6, PI J. Silk. JS acknowledges the support of the JHU by NSF grant OIA-1124403. The work of KAO was supported in part by DOE grant DE-SC0011842 at the University of Minnesota. This work has been carried out at the ILP LABEX (under reference ANR-10-LABX-63) supported by French state funds managed by the ANR within the Investissements d'Avenir programme under reference ANR-11-IDEX-0004-02.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Authors.


  • Black hole physics
  • binaries: General
  • gravitational waves
  • stars: Population III


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