Tidal disruption events occur rarely in any individual galaxy. Over the last decade, however, time-domain surveys have begun to accumulate statistical samples of these flares. What dynamical processes are responsible for feeding stars to supermassive black holes? At what rate are stars tidally disrupted in realistic galactic nuclei? What may we learn about supermassive black holes and broader astrophysical questions by estimating tidal disruption event rates from observational samples of flares? These are the questions we aim to address in this Chapter, which summarizes current theoretical knowledge about rates of stellar tidal disruption, and compares theoretical predictions to the current state of observations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
N.C.S. received financial support from the NASA Astrophysics Theory Research Program (Grant NNX17AK43G; PI B. Metzger). M. K. acknowledges support from NSF Grant No. PHY-1607031 and NASA Award No. 80NSSC18K0639. E.M.R. acknowledges support from NWO TOP grant Module 2, project number 614.001.401. P.A.S. acknowledges support from the Ramón y Cajal Programme of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness of Spain, the COST Action GWverse CA16104, and the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFA0400702) and the National Science Foundation of China (11721303).
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