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Gravitational waves from inspiral into massive black holes

Hughes, Scott A. (2000) Gravitational waves from inspiral into massive black holes. In: Gravitational Waves: Third Edoardo Amaldi Conference, Pasadena, CA, 12-16 July 1999. AIP Conference Proceedings. Vol.523. No.523. American Physical Society , Melville, NY, pp. 75-81. ISBN 9781563969447.

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Space-based gravitational-wave interferometers such as LISA will be sensitive to the inspiral of stellar mass compact objects into black holes with masses in the range of roughly 10^5 solar masses to (a few) 10^7 solar masses. During the last year of inspiral, the compact body spends several hundred thousand orbits spiraling from several Schwarzschild radii to the last stable orbit. The gravitational waves emitted from these orbits probe the strong-field region of the black hole spacetime and can make possible high precision tests and measurements of the black hole's properties. Measuring such waves will require a good theoretical understanding of the waves' properties, which in turn requires a good understanding of strong-field radiation reaction and of properties of the black hole's astrophysical environment which could complicate wave-form generation. In these proceedings, I review estimates of the rate at which such inspirals occur in the universe, and discuss what is being done and what must be done further in order to calculate the inspiral waveform.

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Additional Information:©2000 American Institute of Physics. I thank Kip Thorne and Steinn Sigurdsson for help and advice in writing this talk; I also thank Ramesh Narayan for allowing me to use a preliminary draft of Ref. [9]. I am indebted to many people who helped me construct my radiation reaction code, including (but not limited to) Sam Finn, Daniel Kennefick, Yuri Levin, Amos Ori, Sterl Phinney, and "The Capra Gang": Lior Burko, Patrick Brady, Eanna Flanagan, Eric Poisson, and Alan Wiseman. This research was support by NSF Grants AST-9731698 and AST-9618537, and NASA Grants NAG5-6840 and NAG5-7034.
Subject Keywords:gravitational waves, gravitational wave detectors, astrophysical radiation mechanisms, black holes, binary stars, waveform analysis
Series Name:AIP Conference Proceedings
Issue or Number:523
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:HUGaipcp00
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9371
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:16 Dec 2007
Last Modified:17 Nov 2022 21:19

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