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High-accuracy waveforms for binary black hole inspiral, merger, and ringdown

Scheel, Mark A. and Boyle, Michael and Chu, Tony and Kidder, Lawrence E. and Matthews, Keith D. and Pfeiffer, Harald P. (2009) High-accuracy waveforms for binary black hole inspiral, merger, and ringdown. Physical Review D, 79 (2). Art. No. 024003. ISSN 0556-2821.

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The first spectral numerical simulations of 16 orbits, merger, and ringdown of an equal-mass nonspinning binary black hole system are presented. Gravitational waveforms from these simulations have accumulated numerical phase errors through ringdown of <~0.1 radian when measured from the beginning of the simulation, and <~0.02 radian when waveforms are time and phase shifted to agree at the peak amplitude. The waveform seen by an observer at infinity is determined from waveforms computed at finite radii by an extrapolation process accurate to <~0.01 radian in phase. The phase difference between this waveform at infinity and the waveform measured at a finite radius of r=100M is about half a radian. The ratio of final mass to initial mass is Mf/M=0.951 62±0.000 02, and the final black hole spin is Sf/Mf^2=0.686 46±0.000 04.

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Additional Information:© 2009 The American Physical Society. Received 9 October 2008; published 7 January 2009. We thank Luisa Buchman, Luis Lehner, Frans Pretorius, Bela Szilágyi, Saul Teukolsky, and Kip Thorne for helpful comments, Fan Zhang for help with the extrapolation code, and Geoffrey Lovelace and Rob Owen for providing the diagnostics used to measure the final spin. We are especially grateful to Lee Lindblom for numerous suggestions, ideas, and discussions that significantly contributed to the success of the methods described here. This work was supported in part by grants from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation to Caltech and Cornell, and from the Brinson Foundation to Caltech; by NSF Grants No. PHY-0601459, No. PHY-0652995, No. DMS-0553302, and NASA Grant No. NNG05GG52G at Caltech; by NSF Grants No. PHY-0652952, No. DMS-0553677, No. PHY-0652929, and NASA Grant No. NNG05GG51G at Cornell. We thank NASA/JPL for providing computing facilities that contributed to this work. Some of the simulations discussed here were produced with LIGO Laboratory computing facilities. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation and operates under Cooperative Agreement No. PHY-0107417.
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Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Brinson FoundationUNSPECIFIED
National Science FoundationPHY-0601459
National Science FoundationPHY-0652995
National Science FoundationDMS-0553302
National Science FoundationPHY-0652952
National Science FoundationDMS-0553677
National Science FoundationPHY-0652929
National Science FoundationPHY-0107417
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ID Code:12951
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:10 Jan 2009 01:08
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 10:42

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