2,632 research outputs found

    On the Kelvin Problem

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    The Kelvin problem of an isotropic elastic space subject to a concentrated load is solved in a manner that exploits the problem's built-in symmetries so as to determine in the first place the unique balanced and compatible stress field

    The gravitational-wave memory effect

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    The nonlinear memory effect is a slowly-growing, non-oscillatory contribution to the gravitational-wave amplitude. It originates from gravitational waves that are sourced by the previously emitted waves. In an ideal gravitational-wave interferometer a gravitational-wave with memory causes a permanent displacement of the test masses that persists after the wave has passed. Surprisingly, the nonlinear memory affects the signal amplitude starting at leading (Newtonian-quadrupole) order. Despite this fact, the nonlinear memory is not easily extracted from current numerical relativity simulations. After reviewing the linear and nonlinear memory I summarize some recent work, including: (1) computations of the memory contribution to the inspiral waveform amplitude (thus completing the waveform to third post-Newtonian order); (2) the first calculations of the nonlinear memory that include all phases of binary black hole coalescence (inspiral, merger, ringdown); and (3) realistic estimates of the detectability of the memory with LISA.Comment: 11 pages, 2 figures; proceedings of the 8th Amaldi Conference on Gravitational Waves (New York, June 2009); accepted for publication in special issue of Classical and Quantum Gravit

    Energy Localization Invariance of Tidal Work in General Relativity

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    It is well known that, when an external general relativistic (electric-type) tidal field E(t) interacts with the evolving quadrupole moment I(t) of an isolated body, the tidal field does work on the body (``tidal work'') -- i.e., it transfers energy to the body -- at a rate given by the same formula as in Newtonian theory: dW/dt = -1/2 E dI/dt. Thorne has posed the following question: In view of the fact that the gravitational interaction energy between the tidal field and the body is ambiguous by an amount of order E(t)I(t), is the tidal work also ambiguous by this amount, and therefore is the formula dW/dt = -1/2 E dI/dt only valid unambiguously when integrated over timescales long compared to that for I(t) to change substantially? This paper completes a demonstration that the answer is no; dW/dt is not ambiguous in this way. More specifically, this paper shows that dW/dt is unambiguously given by -1/2 E dI/dt independently of one's choice of how to localize gravitational energy in general relativity. This is proved by explicitly computing dW/dt using various gravitational stress-energy pseudotensors (Einstein, Landau-Lifshitz, Moller) as well as Bergmann's conserved quantities which generalize many of the pseudotensors to include an arbitrary function of position. A discussion is also given of the problem of formulating conservation laws in general relativity and the role played by the various pseudotensors.Comment: 15 pages, no figures, revtex. Submitted to Phys. Rev.

    Nonlinear gravitational-wave memory from binary black hole mergers

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    Some astrophysical sources of gravitational waves can produce a "memory effect," which causes a permanent displacement of the test masses in a freely falling gravitational-wave detector. The Christodoulou memory is a particularly interesting nonlinear form of memory that arises from the gravitational-wave stress-energy tensor's contribution to the distant gravitational-wave field. This nonlinear memory contributes a nonoscillatory component to the gravitational-wave signal at leading (Newtonian-quadrupole) order in the waveform amplitude. Previous computations of the memory and its detectability considered only the inspiral phase of binary black hole coalescence. Using an "effective-one-body" (EOB) approach calibrated to numerical relativity simulations, as well as a simple fully analytic model, the Christodoulou memory is computed for the inspiral, merger, and ringdown. The memory will be very difficult to detect with ground-based interferometers, but is likely to be observable in supermassive black hole mergers with LISA out to a redshift of two. Detection of the nonlinear memory could serve as an experimental test of the ability of gravity to "gravitate."Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures. v2: minor changes to text and references; published in ApJ Letter

    Conservative self-force correction to the innermost stable circular orbit: comparison with multiple post-Newtonian-based methods

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    [abridged] Barack & Sago have recently computed the shift of the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) due to the conservative self-force that arises from the finite-mass of an orbiting test-particle. This is one of the first concrete results of the self-force program, and provides an exact point of comparison with approximate post-Newtonian (PN) computations of the ISCO. Here this exact ISCO shift is compared with nearly all known PN-based methods. These include both "nonresummed" and "resummed" approaches (the latter reproduce the test-particle limit by construction). The best agreement with the exact result is found from effective-one-body (EOB) calculations that are fit to numerical relativity simulations. However, if one considers uncalibrated methods based only on the currently known 3PN-order conservative dynamics, the best agreement is found from the gauge-invariant ISCO condition of Blanchet and Iyer (2003). This method reproduces the exact test-particle limit without any resummation. A comparison of PN methods with the equal-mass ISCO is also performed. The results of this study suggest that the EOB approach---while exactly incorporating the conservative test-particle dynamics---does not (in the absence of calibration) incorporate conservative self-force effects more accurately than standard PN methods. I also consider how the conservative self-force ISCO shift, combined with numerical relativity computations of the ISCO, can be used to constrain our knowledge of (1) the EOB effective metric, (2) phenomenological inspiral-merger-ringdown templates, and (3) 4PN and 5PN order terms in the PN orbital energy. These constraints could help in constructing better gravitational-wave templates. Lastly, I suggest a new method to calibrate unknown PN-terms in inspiral templates using numerical-relativity calculations.Comment: 27 pages, 2 figures, 2 tables. v2: some changes to Sec. VI in response to referee comments; references added; other minor changes to match published versio

    Conservative corrections to the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) of a Kerr black hole: a new gauge-invariant post-Newtonian ISCO condition, and the ISCO shift due to test-particle spin and the gravitational self-force

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    The innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) delimits the transition from circular orbits to those that plunge into a black hole. In the test-mass limit, well-defined ISCO conditions exist for the Kerr and Schwarzschild spacetimes. In the finite-mass case, there are a large variety of ways to define an ISCO in a post-Newtonian (PN) context. Here I generalize the gauge-invariant ISCO condition of Blanchet & Iyer (2003) to the case of spinning (nonprecessing) binaries. The Blanchet-Iyer ISCO condition has two desirable and unexpected properties: (1) it exactly reproduces the Schwarzschild ISCO in the test-mass limit, and (2) it accurately approximates the recently-calculated shift in the Schwarzschild ISCO frequency due to the conservative-piece of the gravitational self-force [Barack & Sago (2009)]. The generalization of this ISCO condition to spinning binaries has the property that it also exactly reproduces the Kerr ISCO in the test-mass limit (up to the order at which PN spin corrections are currently known). The shift in the ISCO due to the spin of the test-particle is also calculated. Remarkably, the gauge-invariant PN ISCO condition exactly reproduces the ISCO shift predicted by the Papapetrou equations for a fully-relativistic spinning particle. It is surprising that an analysis of the stability of the standard PN equations of motion is able (without any form of "resummation") to accurately describe strong-field effects of the Kerr spacetime. The ISCO frequency shift due to the conservative self-force in Kerr is also calculated from this new ISCO condition, as well as from the effective-one-body Hamiltonian of Barausse & Buonanno (2010). These results serve as a useful point-of-comparison for future gravitational self-force calculations in the Kerr spacetime.Comment: 17 pages, 2 figures, 1 table. v2: references added; minor changes to match published versio
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