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Transient Resonances in the Inspirals of Point Particles into Black Holes

Flanagan, Éanna É. and Hinderer, Tanja (2012) Transient Resonances in the Inspirals of Point Particles into Black Holes. Physical Review Letters, 109 (7). Art. No. 071102. ISSN 0031-9007.

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We show that transient resonances occur in the two-body problem in general relativity for spinning black holes in close proximity to one another when one black hole is much more massive than the other. These resonances occur when the ratio of polar and radial orbital frequencies, which is slowly evolving under the influence of gravitational radiation reaction, passes through a low order rational number. At such points, the adiabatic approximation to the orbital evolution breaks down, and there is a brief but order unity correction to the inspiral rate. The resonances cause a perturbation to orbital phase of order a few tens of cycles for mass ratios ∼10^(-6), make orbits more sensitive to changes in initial data (though not quite chaotic), and are genuine nonperturbative effects that are not seen at any order in a standard post-Newtonian expansion. Our results apply to an important potential source of gravitational waves, the gradual inspiral of white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes into much more massive black holes. Resonances’ effects will increase the computational challenge of accurately modeling these sources.

Item Type:Article
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Hinderer, Tanja0000-0002-3394-6105
Additional Information:© 2012 American Physical Society. Received 20 June 2011; published 15 August 2012. This work was supported by NSF Grants No. PHY-0757735 and No. PHY-0457200, by the John and David Boochever Prize Fellowship in Theoretical Physics to T. H. at Cornell, and by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. We thank Scott Hughes, Marc Favata, Steve Drasco, and Amos Ori for helpful conversations.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
John and David Boochever Prize Fellowship in Theoretical PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7
Classification Code:PACS: 04.30.Db, 04.25.Nx, 95.30.Sf, 97.60.Lf
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120913-135508107
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34073
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 21:35
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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