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Simulating merging binary black holes with nearly extremal spins

Lovelace, Geoffrey and Scheel, Mark A. and Szilágyi, Béla (2011) Simulating merging binary black holes with nearly extremal spins. Physical Review D, 83 (2). Art. No. 024010. ISSN 2470-0010.

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Astrophysically realistic black holes may have spins that are nearly extremal (i.e., close to 1 in dimensionless units). Numerical simulations of binary black holes are important tools both for calibrating analytical templates for gravitational-wave detection and for exploring the nonlinear dynamics of curved spacetime. However, all previous simulations of binary-black-hole inspiral, merger, and ringdown have been limited by an apparently insurmountable barrier: the merging holes’ spins could not exceed 0.93, which is still a long way from the maximum possible value in terms of the physical effects of the spin. In this paper, we surpass this limit for the first time, opening the way to explore numerically the behavior of merging, nearly extremal black holes. Specifically, using an improved initial-data method suitable for binary black holes with nearly extremal spins, we simulate the inspiral (through 12.5 orbits), merger and ringdown of two equal-mass black holes with equal spins of magnitude 0.95 antialigned with the orbital angular momentum.

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Lovelace, Geoffrey0000-0002-7084-1070
Additional Information:© 2011 American Physical Society. Received 13 October 2010; published 10 January 2011. We are pleased to thank N. Taylor for a gauge modification that allows us to use the nonsmooth maps of Ref. [47] throughout our evolutions and L. Kidder, R. Owen, H. Pfeiffer, S. Teukolsky, and K. Thorne for helpful discussions. 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 and No. PHY-1005655 at Caltech; by NASA Grant No. NNX09AF97G at Caltech; by NSF Grants No. PHY-0969111 and No. PHY-1005426 at Cornell; and by NASA Grant No. NNX09AF96G at Cornell. The numerical computations presented in this paper were performed primarily on the Caltech compute cluster ZWICKY, which was cofunded by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. Some computations were also performed on the GPC supercomputer at the SciNet HPC Consortium; SciNet is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation under the auspices of Compute Canada; the Government of Ontario; Ontario Research Fund— Research Excellence; and the University of Toronto. Some computations were performed in part using TeraGrid resources provided by NCSA’s RANGER cluster under Grant No. TG-PHY990007N.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Brinson FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Compute CanadaUNSPECIFIED
Government of OntarioUNSPECIFIED
Ontario Research Fund-Research ExcellenceUNSPECIFIED
University of TorontoUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:PACS: 04.25.dg, 04.30.-w
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110302-085331315
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22591
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:03 Mar 2011 04:49
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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