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Event horizon deformations in extreme mass-ratio black hole mergers

Hamerly, Ryan and Chen, Yanbei (2011) Event horizon deformations in extreme mass-ratio black hole mergers. Physical Review D, 84 (12). Art. No. 124015. ISSN 2470-0010.

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We study the geometry of the event horizon of a spacetime in which a small compact object plunges into a large Schwarzschild black hole. We first use the Regge-Wheeler and Zerilli formalisms to calculate the metric perturbations induced by this small compact object, then find the new event horizon by propagating null geodesics near the unperturbed horizon. A caustic is shown to exist before the merger. Focusing on the geometry near the caustic, we show that it is determined predominantly by large-l perturbations, which in turn have simple asymptotic forms near the point at which the particle plunges into the horizon. It is therefore possible to obtain an analytic characterization of the geometry that is independent of the details of the plunge. We compute the invariant length of the caustic. We further show that among the leading-order horizon area increase, half arises from generators that enter the horizon through the caustic, and the rest arises from area increase near the caustic, induced by the gravitational field of the compact object.

Item Type:Article
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Hamerly, Ryan0000-0003-4976-2236
Chen, Yanbei0000-0002-9730-9463
Additional Information:© 2011 American Physical Society. Received 30 July 2010; revised 20 September 2011; published 7 December 2011. We thank Huan Yang and Kip S. Thorne for very useful discussions. We thank Emanuele Berti for sharing with us his research notes on black-hole perturbation theory. Research of R. H. was supported by the David and Judith Goodstein Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Endowment at Caltech. Y. C. is supported by NSF Grant Nos. PHY-0653653 and PHY-0601459, CAREER Grant No. PHY-0956189, and the David and Barbara Groce start-up fund at Caltech.
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Caltech David and Barbara Groce Startup FundUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:12
Classification Code:PACS: 04.70.Bw, 04.25.Nx
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120109-091128005
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Official Citation:Event horizon deformations in extreme mass-ratio black hole mergers Ryan Hamerly and Yanbei Chen Published 7 December 2011 (24 pages) 124015
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:28710
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:09 Jan 2012 17:35
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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