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Wide nutation: binary black-hole spins repeatedly oscillating from full alignment to full anti-alignment

Gerosa, Davide and Lima, Alicia and Berti, Emanuele and Sperhake, Ulrich and Kesden, Michael and O’Shaughnessy, Richard (2019) Wide nutation: binary black-hole spins repeatedly oscillating from full alignment to full anti-alignment. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 36 (10). Art. No. 105003. ISSN 0264-9381.

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Within the framework of 2PN black-hole binary spin precession, we explore configurations where one of the two spins oscillates from being completely aligned with the orbital angular momentum to being completely anti-aligned with it during a single precession cycle. This wide nutation is the extreme limit of the generic phenomenon of spin nutation in black-hole binaries. Crucially, wide nutation happens on the short precession time scale and it is not a secular effect due to gravitational-wave radiation reaction. The spins of these binaries, therefore, flip repeatedly as one of these special configurations is entered. Binaries with total mass M, mass ratio q, and dimensionless spin Χ_1 (χ_2) of the more (less) massive black hole are allowed to undergo wide nutation at binary separations r ⩽ r_(wide) ≡ [(qχ_2−χ_1)/(1−q)]^2M. Sources that are more likely to nutate widely have similar masses and effective spins close to zero.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Gerosa, Davide0000-0002-0933-3579
Berti, Emanuele0000-0003-0751-5130
Sperhake, Ulrich0000-0002-3134-7088
Kesden, Michael0000-0002-5987-1471
O’Shaughnessy, Richard0000-0001-5832-8517
Additional Information:© 2019 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 14 November 2018, revised 18 March 2019, Accepted for publication 29 March 2019, Published 15 April 2019. We thank Yanbei Chen, Alan Weinstein and Kaze Wong for discussions. DG is supported by NASA through Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant No. PF6-170152 by the Chandra X-ray Center, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for NASA under Contract NAS8-03060. AL is supported by the LIGO SURF program at Caltech funded by NSF Grant No. PHY-1757303 and the NSBP Carl Albert Rouse Undergraduate Research Fellowship. EB is supported by NSF Grants Nos. PHY-1841464, AST-1841358 and PHY-090003, and NASA Grant No. 17-ATP17-0225. MK is supported by NSF Grant No. PHY-1607031. US acknowledges support by European Union's H2020 ERC Grant No. MaGRaTh–646597, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant No. 690904, COST Action Grant No. CA16104, the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics at Kyoto University under Grant No. YITP-T-18-05, STFC Grant Nos. ST/P000673/1, ST/H008586/1 and ST/K00333X/1, PRACE Grant No. 2016163948, BIS Grant No. ST/J005673/1 and NSF Grant No. PHY-090003. Computational work was performed on Caltech computer cluster Wheeler supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and Caltech.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF6-170152
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)646597
Marie Curie Fellowship690904
COST ActionCA16104
Kyoto UniversityYITP-T-18-05
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/P000673/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/H008586/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/K00333X/1
Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE)2016163948
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/J005673/1
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:black holes, gravitational waves, spin precession
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190417-103236487
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Davide Gerosa et al 2019 Class. Quantum Grav. 36 105003
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94742
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Apr 2019 21:51
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:06

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