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Characteristic extraction in numerical relativity: binary black hole merger waveforms at null infinity

Reisswig, C. and Bishop, N. T. and Pollney, D. and Szilágyi, B. (2010) Characteristic extraction in numerical relativity: binary black hole merger waveforms at null infinity. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 27 (7). 075014 . ISSN 0264-9381.

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The accurate modeling of gravitational radiation is a key issue for gravitational wave astronomy. As simulation codes reach higher accuracy, systematic errors inherent in current numerical relativity wave extraction methods become evident, and may lead to a wrong astrophysical interpretation of the data. In this paper, we give a detailed description of the Cauchy-characteristic extraction technique applied to binary black hole inspiral and merger evolutions to obtain gravitational waveforms that are defined unambiguously, that is, at future null infinity. By this method, we remove finite-radius approximations and the need to extrapolate data from the near zone. Further, we demonstrate that the method is free of gauge effects and thus is affected only by numerical error. Various consistency checks reveal that energy and angular momentum are conserved to high precision and agree very well with extrapolated data. In addition, we revisit the computation of the gravitational recoil and find that finite-radius extrapolation very well approximates the result at J^+. However, the (non-convergent) systematic differences in the extrapolated data are of the same order of magnitude as the (convergent) discretization error of the Cauchy evolution, thus highlighting the need for correct wave extraction.

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Additional Information:© 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 8 December 2009. Published 10 March 2010. We thank Stanislav Babak, Ian Hinder and Luciano Rezzolla for useful discussions. CR and DP thank Rhodes University, and NTB thanks Max-Planck-Institut f¨ur Gravitationsphysik, for hospitality. This work was supported by international collaboration grants funded by the National Research Foundation, South Africa, Bundesministerium fur Bildung und Forschung, Germany, and DFG grant SFB/Transregio 7 ‘Gravitational Wave Astronomy’. DP was supported by a grant from the VESF. BS was supported by grants from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, by NSF grants DMS-0553302, PHY-0601459, PHY-0652995 and by NASA grant NNX09AF97G. Computations were performed at the AEI, at LRZ-Munchen, on Teragrid clusters (allocation TG-MCA02N014), and LONI resources at LSU.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Research Foundation, South AfricaUNSPECIFIED
Bundesministerium fur Bildung und Forschung, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) SFB/Transregio 7
Virgo Ego Scientific Forum (VESF)UNSPECIFIED
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7
Classification Code:PACS numbers: 04.25.dg, 04.30.Db, 04.20.Ha, 04.30.Nk
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100406-092950339
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Official Citation:C Reisswig et al 2010 Class. Quantum Grav. 27 075014 doi: 10.1088/0264-9381/27/7/075014
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17861
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Apr 2010 17:25
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:34

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