557 research outputs found

### High accuracy simulations of black hole binaries:spins anti-aligned with the orbital angular momentum

High-accuracy binary black hole simulations are presented for black holes
with spins anti-aligned with the orbital angular momentum. The particular case
studied represents an equal-mass binary with spins of equal magnitude
S/m^2=0.43757 \pm 0.00001. The system has initial orbital eccentricity ~4e-5,
and is evolved through 10.6 orbits plus merger and ringdown. The remnant mass
and spin are M_f=(0.961109 \pm 0.000003)M and S_f/M_f^2=0.54781 \pm 0.00001,
respectively, where M is the mass during early inspiral. The gravitational
waveforms have accumulated numerical phase errors of <~ 0.1 radians without any
time or phase shifts, and <~ 0.01 radians when the waveforms are aligned with
suitable time and phase shifts. The waveform is extrapolated to infinity using
a procedure accurate to <~ 0.01 radians in phase, and the extrapolated waveform
differs by up to 0.13 radians in phase and about one percent in amplitude from
the waveform extracted at finite radius r=350M. The simulations employ
different choices for the constraint damping parameters in the wave zone; this
greatly reduces the effects of junk radiation, allowing the extraction of a
clean gravitational wave signal even very early in the simulation.Comment: 14 pages, 15 figure

### Accurate gravitational waveforms for binary-black-hole mergers with nearly extremal spins

Motivated by the possibility of observing gravitational waves from merging
black holes whose spins are nearly extremal (i.e., 1 in dimensionless units),
we present numerical waveforms from simulations of merging black holes with the
highest spins simulated to date: (1) a 25.5-orbit inspiral, merger, and
ringdown of two holes with equal masses and spins of magnitude 0.97 aligned
with the orbital angular momentum; and (2) a previously reported 12.5-orbit
inspiral, merger, and ringdown of two holes with equal masses and spins of
magnitude 0.95 anti-aligned with the orbital angular momentum. First, we
consider the horizon mass and spin evolution of the new aligned-spin
simulation. During the inspiral, the horizon area and spin evolve in remarkably
close agreement with Alvi's analytic predictions, and the remnant hole's final
spin agrees reasonably well with several analytic predictions. We also find
that the total energy emitted by a real astrophysical system with these
parameters---almost all of which is radiated during the time included in this
simulation---would be 10.952% of the initial mass at infinite separation.
Second, we consider the gravitational waveforms for both simulations. After
estimating their uncertainties, we compare the waveforms to several
post-Newtonian approximants, finding significant disagreement well before
merger, although the phase of the TaylorT4 approximant happens to agree
remarkably well with the numerical prediction in the aligned-spin case. We find
that the post-Newtonian waveforms have sufficient uncertainty that hybridized
waveforms will require far longer numerical simulations (in the absence of
improved post-Newtonian waveforms) for accurate parameter estimation of
low-mass binary systems.Comment: 17 pages, 7 figures, submitted to Classical and Quantum Gravit

### Gauge drivers for the generalized harmonic Einstein equations

The generalized harmonic representation of Einstein's equations is manifestly hyperbolic for a large class of gauge conditions. Unfortunately most of the useful gauges developed over the past several decades by the numerical relativity community are incompatible with the hyperbolicity of the equations in this form. This paper presents a new method of imposing gauge conditions that preserves hyperbolicity for a much wider class of conditions, including as special cases many of the standard ones used in numerical relativity: e.g., K freezing, Gamma freezing, Bona-MassÃ³ slicing, conformal Gamma drivers, etc. Analytical and numerical results are presented which test the stability and the effectiveness of this new gauge-driver evolution system

### Constructing a boosted, spinning black hole in the damped harmonic gauge

The damped harmonic gauge is important for numerical relativity computations
based on the generalized harmonic formulation of Einstein's equations, and is
used to reduce coordinate distortions near binary black hole mergers. However,
currently there is no prescription to construct quasiequilibrium binary black
hole initial data in this gauge. Instead, initial data are typically
constructed using a superposition of two boosted analytic single black hole
solutions as free data in the solution of the constraint equations. Then, a
smooth time-dependent gauge transformation is done early in the evolution to
move into the damped harmonic gauge. Using this strategy to produce initial
data in damped harmonic gauge would require the solution of a single black hole
in this gauge, which is not known analytically. In this work we construct a
single boosted, spinning, equilibrium BH in damped harmonic coordinates as a
regular time-independent coordinate transformation from Kerr-Schild
coordinates. To do this, we derive and solve a set of 4 coupled, nonlinear,
elliptic equations for this transformation, with appropriate boundary
conditions. This solution can now be used in the construction of damped
harmonic initial data for binary black holes.Comment: Matches PRD version. 8 pages, 3 figure

### Testing the no-hair theorem with GW150914

We analyze gravitational-wave data from the first LIGO detection of a binary
black-hole merger (GW150914) in search of the ringdown of the remnant black
hole. Using observations beginning at the peak of the signal, we find evidence
of the fundamental quasinormal mode and at least one overtone, both associated
with the dominant angular mode ($\ell=m=2$), with $3.6\sigma$ confidence. A
ringdown model including overtones allows us to measure the final mass and spin
magnitude of the remnant exclusively from postinspiral data, obtaining an
estimate in agreement with the values inferred from the full signal. The mass
and spin values we measure from the ringdown agree with those obtained using
solely the fundamental mode at a later time, but have smaller uncertainties.
Agreement between the postinspiral measurements of mass and spin and those
using the full waveform supports the hypothesis that the GW150914 merger
produced a Kerr black hole, as predicted by general relativity, and provides a
test of the no-hair theorem at the ${\sim}10\%$ level. An independent
measurement of the frequency of the first overtone yields agreement with the
no-hair hypothesis at the ${\sim 20}\%$ level. As the detector sensitivity
improves and the detected population of black hole mergers grows, we can expect
that using overtones will provide even stronger tests.Comment: v2: journal versio

### Simulating merging binary black holes with nearly extremal spins

Astrophysically realistic black holes may have spins that are nearly extremal
(i.e., close to 1 in dimensionless units). Numerical simulations of binary
black holes are important tools both for calibrating analytical templates for
gravitational-wave detection and for exploring the nonlinear dynamics of curved
spacetime. However, all previous simulations of binary-black-hole inspiral,
merger, and ringdown have been limited by an apparently insurmountable barrier:
the merging holes' spins could not exceed 0.93, which is still a long way from
the maximum possible value in terms of the physical effects of the spin. In
this paper, we surpass this limit for the first time, opening the way to
explore numerically the behavior of merging, nearly extremal black holes.
Specifically, using an improved initial-data method suitable for binary black
holes with nearly extremal spins, we simulate the inspiral (through 12.5
orbits), merger and ringdown of two equal-mass black holes with equal spins of
magnitude 0.95 antialigned with the orbital angular momentum.Comment: 4 pages, 2 figures, updated with version accepted for publication in
Phys. Rev. D, removed a plot that was incorrectly included at the end of the
article in version v

### Numerical relativity simulation of GW150914 beyond general relativity

We produce the first astrophysically-relevant numerical binary black hole
gravitational waveform in a higher-curvature theory of gravity beyond general
relativity. We simulate a system with parameters consistent with GW150914, the
first LIGO detection, in order-reduced dynamical Chern-Simons gravity, a theory
with motivations in string theory and loop quantum gravity. We present results
for the leading-order corrections to the merger and ringdown waveforms, as well
as the ringdown quasi-normal mode spectrum. We estimate that such corrections
may be discriminated in detections with signal to noise ratio $\gtrsim
180-240$, with the precise value depending on the dimension of the GR waveform
family used in data analysis.Comment: 7 pages + appendices, 8 figures, Updated to match Phys. D. Rev
articl

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