A Caltech Library Service

Are different approaches to constructing initial data for binary black hole simulations of the same astrophysical situation equivalent?

Garcia, Bryant and Lovelace, Geoffrey and Kidder, Lawrence E. and Boyle, Michael and Teukolsky, Saul A. and Scheel, Mark A. and Szilagyi, Bela (2012) Are different approaches to constructing initial data for binary black hole simulations of the same astrophysical situation equivalent? Physical Review D, 86 (8). Art. No. 084054. ISSN 2470-0010.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Initial data for numerical evolutions of binary-black holes have been dominated by “conformally flat” (CF) data (i.e., initial data where the conformal background metric is chosen to be flat) because they are easy to construct. However, CF initial data cannot simulate nearly extremal spins, while more complicated “conformally curved” initial data (i.e., initial data in which the background metric is not explicitly chosen to be flat), such as initial data where the spatial metric is chosen to be proportional to a weighted superposition of two Kerr-Schild black holes can. Here we establish the consistency between the astrophysical results of these two initial data schemes for nonspinning binary systems. We evolve the inspiral, merger, and ringdown of two equal-mass, nonspinning black holes using superposed Kerr-Schild initial data and compare with an analogous simulation using CF initial data. We find that the resultant gravitational-waveform phases agree to within δϕ≲10^(-2) radians and the amplitudes agree to within δA/A≲5×10^(-3), which are within the numerical errors of the simulations. Furthermore, we find that the final mass and spin of the remnant black hole agree to one part in 10^5.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Lovelace, Geoffrey0000-0002-7084-1070
Kidder, Lawrence E.0000-0001-5392-7342
Teukolsky, Saul A.0000-0001-9765-4526
Additional Information:© 2012 American Physical Society. Received 14 June 2012; published 31 October 2012. We are pleased to thank Harald Pfeiffer for helpful discussions. This work was supported in part by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, by NSF Grants No. PHY-0969111 and No. PHY-1005426 at Cornell, No. PHY-1068881 and No. PHY-1005655 at Caltech, and by NASA Grant No. NNX09AF96G. The new numerical computations presented in this paper were performed primarily on the Caltech computer cluster "Zwicky," which was funded by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and the NSF MRI-R2 Grant No. PHY-0960291 to Caltech.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:8
Classification Code:PACS: 04.25.dg, 04.30.-w
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121130-131737755
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35750
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:30 Nov 2012 21:51
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page