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Life and adventures of supermassive black hole binaries: the mythical final-parsec problem

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I review our present understanding of the evolution of binary supermassive black holes—how do they form, why do they eventually merge into a single black hole, and what happens afterwards, as well as discuss their possible observational signatures and perspectives of detection. I focus on the difficulties in bringing the two black holes to coalescence, which have been dubbed “the final-parsec problem”, and on the recent possible solutions to it.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Galaxies Discussion Group series.

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