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Resonant recoil in extreme mass ratio binary black hole mergers

Hirata, Christopher M. (2011) Resonant recoil in extreme mass ratio binary black hole mergers. Physical Review D, 83 (10). Art. No. 104024. ISSN 0556-2821.

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The inspiral and merger of a binary black hole system generally leads to an asymmetric distribution of emitted radiation, and hence a recoil of the remnant black hole directed opposite to the net linear momentum radiated. The recoil velocity is generally largest for comparable mass black holes and particular spin configurations, and approaches zero in the extreme mass ratio limit. It is generally believed that for extreme mass ratios η≪1, the scaling of the recoil velocity is |V|∝η^2, where the proportionality coefficient depends on the spin of the larger hole and the geometry of the system (e.g. orbital inclination). The small recoil velocity is due to cancellations; while the fraction of the total binary mass radiated away in gravitational waves is O(η), most of this energy is emitted during the inspiral phase where the momentum radiated integrates to zero over an orbit. Here, we show that for low but nonzero inclination prograde orbits and very rapidly spinning large holes (spin parameter a_⋆>0.9678) the inspiralling binary can pass through resonances where the orbit-averaged radiation-reaction force is nonzero. These resonance crossings lead to a new contribution to the kick, |V|∝η^(3/2). For these configurations and sufficiently extreme mass ratios, this resonant recoil is dominant. While it seems doubtful that the resonant recoil will be astrophysically significant, its existence suggests caution when extrapolating the results of numerical kick results to extreme mass ratios and near-maximal spins.

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Additional Information:© 2011 American Physical Society. Received 8 December 2010; published 12 May 2011. C. H. thanks Yanbei Chen, Tanja Hinderer, and Michael Kesden for helpful conversations and encouragement. C. H. is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (AST-0807337), the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FG03-02-ER40701), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG03-02-ER40701
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Classification Code:PACS: 04.30.Db, 04.25.Nx, 04.70.Bw
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110531-100742057
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23835
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:31 May 2011 22:55
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 13:16

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