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Energy Versus Angular Momentum in Black Hole Binaries

Damour, Thibault and Nagar, Alessandro and Pollney, Denis and Reisswig, Christian (2012) Energy Versus Angular Momentum in Black Hole Binaries. Physical Review Letters, 108 (13). Art. No. 131101. ISSN 0031-9007.

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Using accurate numerical-relativity simulations of (nonspinning) black-hole binaries with mass ratios 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1, we compute the gauge-invariant relation between the (reduced) binding energy E and the (reduced) angular momentum j of the system. We show that the relation E(j) is an accurate diagnostic of the dynamics of a black-hole binary in a highly relativistic regime. By comparing the numerical-relativity E^(NR)(j) curve with the predictions of several analytic approximation schemes, we find that, while the canonically defined, nonresummed post-Newtonian–expanded E^(PN)(j) relation exhibits large and growing deviations from E^(NR)(j), the prediction of the effective one body formalism, based purely on known analytical results (without any calibration to numerical relativity), agrees strikingly well with the numerical-relativity results.

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Additional Information:© 2012 American Physical Society. Received 13 October 2011; published 28 March 2012. We thank Sascha Husa for assistance in computing low eccentricity initial data. D. P. was supported by Grants No. CSD2007-00042 and No. FPA2010-16495 of the Spanish Ministry of Science. C. R. was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. AST-0855535 and No. OCI-0905046. Computations were performed on the NSF Teragrid (allocations TG-MCA02N014 and TG-PHY100033), the LONI network ( (allocation loni_numrel05), and the Caltech computer cluster Zwicky (NSF MRI Grant No. PHY-0960291).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Spanish Ministry of ScienceCSD2007-00042
Spanish Ministry of ScienceFPA2010-16495
NSF TeraGridTG-MCA02N014
NSF TeraGridTG-PHY100033
NSF MRIPHY-0960291
Issue or Number:13
Classification Code:PACS: 04.30.Db, 04.25.Nx, 95.30.Sf
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120420-135227059
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Official Citation:Energy Versus Angular Momentum in Black Hole Binaries Thibault Damour, Alessandro Nagar, Denis Pollney, and Christian Reisswig Published 28 March 2012 (4 pages) 131101
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:30237
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:20 Apr 2012 21:10
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:48

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