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The binary black hole explorer: on-the-fly visualizations of precessing binary black holes

Varma, Vijay and Stein, Leo C. and Gerosa, Davide (2019) The binary black hole explorer: on-the-fly visualizations of precessing binary black holes. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 36 (9). Art. No. 095007. ISSN 0264-9381.

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Binary black hole mergers are of great interest to the astrophysics community, not least because of their promise to test general relativity in the highly dynamic, strong field regime. Detections of gravitational waves from these sources by LIGO and Virgo have garnered widespread media and public attention. Among these sources, precessing systems (with misaligned black-hole spin/orbital angular momentum) are of particular interest because of the rich dynamics they offer. However, these systems are, in turn, more complex compared to nonprecessing systems, making them harder to model or develop intuition about. Visualizations of numerical simulations of precessing systems provide a means to understand and gain insights about these systems. However, since these simulations are very expensive, they can only be performed at a small number of points in parameter space. We present binaryBHexp, a tool that makes use of surrogate models of numerical simulations to generate on-the-fly interactive visualizations of precessing binary black holes. These visualizations can be generated in a few seconds, and at any point in the 7-dimensional parameter space of the underlying surrogate models. With illustrative examples, we demonstrate how this tool can be used to learn about precessing binary black hole systems.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Varma, Vijay0000-0002-9994-1761
Stein, Leo C.0000-0001-7559-9597
Gerosa, Davide0000-0002-0933-3579
Additional Information:© 2019 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 15 November 2018, revised 25 February 2019. Accepted for publication 12 March 2019. Published 8 April 2019. We thank Harald Pfeiffer for useful comments. VV is supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and NSF grants PHY–1404569, PHY–170212, and PHY–1708213 at Caltech. DG is supported by NASA through Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant No. PF6–170152 awarded by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for NASA under Contract NAS8–03060.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF6-170152
Subject Keywords:visualization, binary black holes, precessing binary black holes
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190411-120803308
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Vijay Varma et al 2019 Class. Quantum Grav. 36 095007
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94658
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:11 Apr 2019 19:40
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:05

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