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Hybrid method for understanding black-hole mergers: Head-on case

Nichols, David A. and Chen, Yanbei (2010) Hybrid method for understanding black-hole mergers: Head-on case. Physical Review D, 82 (10). p. 104020. ISSN 2470-0010.

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Black-hole-binary coalescence is often divided into three stages: inspiral, merger, and ringdown. The post-Newtonian (PN) approximation treats the inspiral phase, black-hole perturbation (BHP) theory describes the ringdown, and the nonlinear dynamics of space-time characterize the merger. In this paper, we introduce a hybrid method that incorporates elements of PN and BHP theories, and we apply it to the head-on collision of black holes with transverse, antiparallel spins. We compare our approximation technique with a full numerical-relativity simulation, and we find good agreement between the gravitational waveforms and the radiated energy and momentum. Our results suggest that PN and BHP theories may suffice to explain the main features of outgoing gravitational radiation for head-on mergers. This would further imply that linear perturbations to exact black-hole solutions can capture the nonlinear aspects of head-on binary-black-hole mergers accessible to observers far from the collision.

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Chen, Yanbei0000-0002-9730-9463
Additional Information:© 2010 American Physical Society. Received 12 July 2010; published 8 November 2010. We thank Geoffrey Lovelace and Uli Sperhake for supplying waveforms and energy-momentum fluxes from their numerical simulations; we thank Lee Lindblom, Mark Scheel, and Béla Szilágyi for advice on solving wave equations with characteristic methods. We thank Drew Keppel for his input in discussions during the early stage of this work, and we thank Kip S. Thorne and Yasushi Mino for discussing related aspects of black-hole physics with us. This work has been supported by NSF Grants No. PHY-0601459, No. PHY-0653653, and CAREER Grant No. PHY-0956189, by the David and Barbara Groce startup funds at the California Institute of Technology, and by the Brinson Foundation. D. N.’s research was supported by the David and Barbara Groce Graduate Research Assistantship at the California Institute of Technology.
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Caltech David and Barbara Groce FundUNSPECIFIED
Brinson FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:10
Classification Code:PACS: 04.25.Nx, 04.30.-w, 04.70.-s
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20101209-121855784
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:21277
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:10 Dec 2010 16:23
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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