N-body modelling of globular clusters: masses, mass-to-light ratios and intermediate-mass black holes

Baumgardt, H. (2017) N-body modelling of globular clusters: masses, mass-to-light ratios and intermediate-mass black holes. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 464 2: 2174-2202. doi:10.1093/mnras/stw2488

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Author Baumgardt, H.
Title N-body modelling of globular clusters: masses, mass-to-light ratios and intermediate-mass black holes
Formatted title
N-body modelling of globular clusters: masses, mass-to-light ratios and intermediate-mass black holes
Journal name Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0035-8711
1365-2966
Publication date 2017-01-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/mnras/stw2488
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 464
Issue 2
Start page 2174
End page 2202
Total pages 29
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We have determined the masses and mass-to-light ratios of 50 Galactic globular clusters by comparing their velocity dispersion and surface brightness profiles against a large grid of 900 N-body simulations of star clusters of varying initial concentration, size and central black hole mass fraction. Our models follow the evolution of the clusters under the combined effects of stellar evolution and two-body relaxation allowing us to take the effects of mass segregation and energy equipartition between stars self-consistently into account. For a subset of 16 well-observed clusters, we also derive their kinematic distances. We find an average mass-to-light ratio of Galactic globular clusters of <M/LV > =1.98 ± 0.03, which agrees very well with the expected M/L ratio if the initial mass function (IMF) of the clusters was a standard Kroupa or Chabrier mass function. We do not find evidence for a decrease in the average mass-to-light ratio with metallicity. The surface brightness and velocity dispersion profiles of most globular clusters are incompatible with the presence of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) with more than a few thousand M⊙ in them. The only clear exception is ω Cen, where the velocity dispersion profile provides strong evidence for the presence of a ∼40 000 M⊙ IMBH in the centre of the cluster.
Keyword Stars: luminosity function, mass function
Globular clusters: general
Globular clusters: individual: omega Cen
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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