results for au:Haas_R in:gr-qc

- We search for an isotropic stochastic gravitational-wave background (GWB) in the newly released $11$-year dataset from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav). While we find no significant evidence for a GWB, we place constraints on a GWB from a population of supermassive black-hole binaries, from cosmic strings, and from a primordial GWB. For the first time, we find that the GWB upper limits and detection statistics are sensitive to the Solar System ephemeris (SSE) model used, and that SSE errors can mimic a GWB signal. To mitigate this effect, we developed and implemented a novel approach that bridges systematic SSE differences, producing the first PTA constraints that are robust against SSE uncertainties. We place a $95\%$ upper limit on the GW strain amplitude of $A_\mathrm{GWB}<1.45\times 10^{-15}$ at a frequency of $f=1$ yr$^{-1}$ for a fiducial $f^{-2/3}$ power-law spectrum, and with inter-pulsar correlations modeled. This is a factor of $\sim 2$ improvement over the NANOGrav $9$-year limit, calculated using the same procedure. Previous PTA upper limits on the GWB will need revision in light of SSE systematic uncertainties. We also characterize the combined influence of the mass-density of stars in galactic cores, the eccentricity of binaries at formation, and the relation between the mass of the central supermassive black hole and the galactic bulge (the $M_\mathrm{BH}-M_\mathrm{bulge}$ relation). We constrain cosmic-string tension on the basis of recent simulations, yielding an SSE-marginalized 95\% upper limit on the cosmic string tension of $G\mu < 5.3\times 10^{-11}$---a factor of $\sim 2$ better than the NANOGrav $9$-year constraints. We then use our new Bayesian SSE model to limit the energy density of primordial GWBs, corresponding to $\Omega_\mathrm{GWB}(f)h^2<3.4 \times 10^{-10}$ for a radiation-dominated inflationary era. [ABRIDGED]
- Dec 06 2017 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1712.01304v1We present a first study of the progenitor star dependence of the three-dimensional (3D) neutrino mechanism of core-collapse supernovae. We employ full 3D general-relativistic multi-group neutrino radiation-hydrodynamics and simulate the post-bounce evolutions of progenitors with zero-age main sequence masses of $12$, $15$, $20$, $27$, and $40\,M_\odot$. All progenitors, with the exception of the $12\,M_\odot$ star, experience shock runaway by the end of their simulations. In most cases, a strongly asymmetric explosion will result. We find three qualitatively distinct evolutions that suggest a complex dependence of explosion dynamics on progenitor density structure, neutrino heating, and 3D flow. (1) Progenitors with massive cores, shallow density profiles, and high post-core-bounce accretion rates experience very strong neutrino heating and neutrino-driven turbulent convection, leading to early shock runaway. Accretion continues at a high rate, likely leading to black hole formation. (2) Intermediate progenitors experience neutrino-driven, turbulence-aided explosions triggered by the arrival of density discontinuities at the shock. These occur typically at the silicon/silicon-oxygen shell boundary. (3) Progenitors with small cores and density profiles without strong discontinuities experience shock recession and develop the 3D standing-accretion shock instability (SASI). Shock runaway ensues late, once declining accretion rate, SASI, and neutrino-driven convection create favorable conditions. These differences in explosion times and dynamics result in a non-monotonic relationship between progenitor and compact remnant mass.
- We present $\texttt{ENIGMA}$, a time domain, inspiral-merger-ringdown waveform model that describes non-spinning binary black holes systems that evolve on moderately eccentric orbits. The inspiral evolution is described using a consistent combination of post-Newtonian theory, self-force and black hole perturbation theory. Assuming eccentric binaries that circularize prior to coalescence, we smoothly match the eccentric inspiral with a stand-alone, quasi-circular merger, which is constructed using machine learning algorithms that are trained with quasi-circular numerical relativity waveforms. We show that $\texttt{ENIGMA}$ reproduces with excellent accuracy the dynamics of quasi-circular compact binaries. We validate $\texttt{ENIGMA}$ using a set of $\texttt{Einstein Toolkit}$ eccentric numerical relativity waveforms, which describe eccentric binary black hole mergers with mass-ratios between $1 \leq q \leq 5.5$, and eccentricities $e_0 \lesssim 0.2$ ten orbits before merger. We use this model to explore in detail the physics that can be extracted with moderately eccentric, non-spinning binary black hole mergers. We use $\texttt{ENIGMA}$ to show that GW150914, GW151226, GW170104, GW170814 and GW170608 can be effectively recovered with spinning, quasi-circular templates if the eccentricity of these events at a gravitational wave frequency of 10Hz satisfies $e_0\leq \{0.175,\, 0.125,\,0.175,\,0.175,\, 0.125\}$, respectively. We show that if these systems have eccentricities $e_0\sim 0.1$ at a gravitational wave frequency of 10Hz, they can be misclassified as quasi-circular binaries due to parameter space degeneracies between eccentricity and spin corrections. Using our catalog of eccentric numerical relativity simulations, we discuss the importance of including higher-order waveform multipoles in gravitational wave searches of eccentric binary black hole mergers.
- Oct 30 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1710.10074v1We present an approach to testing the gravitational redshift effect using the RadioAstron satellite. The experiment is based on a modification of the Gravity Probe A scheme of nonrelativistic Doppler compensation and benefits from the highly eccentric orbit and ultra-stable atomic hydrogen maser frequency standard of the RadioAstron satellite. Using the presented techniques we expect to reach an accuracy of the gravitational redshift test of order $10^{-5}$, a magnitude better than that of Gravity Probe A. Data processing is ongoing, our preliminary results agree with the validity of the Einstein Equivalence Principle.
- Numerical simulations of Einstein's field equations provide unique insights into the physics of compact objects moving at relativistic speeds, and which are driven by strong gravitational interactions. Numerical relativity has played a key role to firmly establish gravitational wave astrophysics as a new field of research, and it is now paving the way to establish whether gravitational wave radiation emitted from compact binary mergers is accompanied by electromagnetic and astro-particle counterparts. As numerical relativity continues to blend in with routine gravitational wave data analyses to validate the discovery of gravitational wave events, it is essential to develop open source tools to streamline these studies. Motivated by our own experience as users and developers of the open source, community software, the Einstein Toolkit, we present an open source, Python package that is ideally suited to monitor and post-process the data products of numerical relativity simulations, and compute the gravitational wave strain at future null infinity in high performance environments. We showcase the application of this new package to post-process a large numerical relativity catalog and extract higher-order waveform modes from numerical relativity simulations of eccentric binary black hole mergers and neutron star mergers. This new software fills a critical void in the arsenal of tools provided by the Einstein Toolkit Consortium to the numerical relativity community.
- Apr 26 2017 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1704.07383v2We present results from a controlled numerical experiment investigating the effect of stellar density gas on the coalescence of binary black holes (BBHs) and the resulting gravitational waves (GWs). This investigation is motivated by the proposed stellar core fragmentation scenario for BBH formation and the associated possibility of an electromagnetic counterpart to a BBH GW event. We employ full numerical relativity coupled with general-relativistic hydrodynamics and set up a $30 + 30 M_\odot$ BBH (motivated by GW150914) inside gas with realistic stellar densities. Our results show that at densities $\rho \gtrsim 10^6 - 10^7 \, \mathrm{g \, cm}^{-3}$ dynamical friction between the BHs and gas changes the coalescence dynamics and the GW signal in an unmistakable way. We show that for GW150914, LIGO observations conclusively rule out BBH coalescence inside stellar gas of $\rho \gtrsim 10^7 \, \mathrm{g\,cm}^{-3}$. Typical densities in the collapsing cores of massive stars are in excess of this density. This excludes the fragmentation scenario for the formation of GW150914.
- We present a time domain waveform model that describes the inspiral-merger-ringdown (IMR) of compact binary systems whose components are non-spinning, and which evolve on orbits with low to moderate eccentricity. The inspiral evolution is described using third order post-Newtonian equations both for the equations of motion of the binary, and its far-zone radiation field. This latter component also includes instantaneous, tails and tails-of-tails contributions, and a contribution due to non-linear memory. This framework reduces to the post-Newtonian approximant TaylorT4 at third post-Newtonian order in the zero eccentricity limit. To improve phase accuracy, we incorporate higher-order post-Newtonian corrections for the energy flux of quasi-circular binaries and gravitational self-force corrections to the binding energy of compact binaries. This enhanced inspiral evolution prescription is combined with an analytical prescription for the merger-ringdown evolution using a catalog of numerical relativity simulations. This IMR waveform model reproduces effective-one-body waveforms for systems with mass-ratios between 1 to 15 in the zero eccentricity limit. Using a set of eccentric numerical relativity simulations, not used during calibration, we show that our eccentric model accurately reproduces the features of eccentric compact binary coalescence throughout the merger. Using this model we show that the gravitational wave transients GW150914 and GW151226 can be effectively recovered with template banks of quasi-circular, spin-aligned waveforms if the eccentricity $e_0$ of these systems when they enter the aLIGO band at a gravitational wave frequency of 14 Hz satisfies $e_0^{\rm GW150914}\leq0.15$ and $e_0^{\rm GW151226}\leq0.1$.
- Jun 06 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1606.01210v1This paper presents updated estimates of source parameters for GW150914, a binary black-hole coalescence event detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) on September 14, 2015 [1]. Reference presented parameter estimation [2] of the source using a 13-dimensional, phenomenological precessing-spin model (precessing IMRPhenom) and a 11-dimensional nonprecessing effective-one-body (EOB) model calibrated to numerical-relativity simulations, which forces spin alignment (nonprecessing EOBNR). Here we present new results that include a 15-dimensional precessing-spin waveform model (precessing EOBNR) developed within the EOB formalism. We find good agreement with the parameters estimated previously [2], and we quote updated component masses of $35^{+5}_{-3}\mathrm{M}_\odot$ and $30^{+3}_{-4}\mathrm{M}_\odot$ (where errors correspond to 90% symmetric credible intervals). We also present slightly tighter constraints on the dimensionless spin magnitudes of the two black holes, with a primary spin estimate $0.65$ and a secondary spin estimate $0.75$ at 90% probability. Reference [2] estimated the systematic parameter-extraction errors due to waveform-model uncertainty by combining the posterior probability densities of precessing IMRPhenom and nonprecessing EOBNR. Here we find that the two precessing-spin models are in closer agreement, suggesting that these systematic errors are smaller than previously quoted.
- May 20 2016 astro-ph.IM gr-qc arXiv:1605.05832v1A test of a cornerstone of general relativity, the gravitational redshift effect, is currently being conducted with the RadioAstron spacecraft, which is on a highly eccentric orbit around Earth. Using ground radio telescopes to record the spacecraft signal, synchronized to its ultra-stable on-board H-maser, we can probe the varying flow of time on board with unprecedented accuracy. The observations performed so far, currently being analyzed, have already allowed us to measure the effect with a relative accuracy of $4\times10^{-4}$. We expect to reach $2.5\times10^{-5}$ with additional observations in 2016, an improvement of almost a magnitude over the 40-year old result of the GP-A mission.
- Apr 05 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1604.00782v2We present results on the inspiral, merger, and post-merger evolution of a neutron star - neutron star (NSNS) system. Our results are obtained using the hybrid pseudospectral-finite volume Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC). To test our numerical methods, we evolve an equal-mass system for $\approx 22$ orbits before merger. This waveform is the longest waveform obtained from fully general-relativistic simulations for NSNSs to date. Such long (and accurate) numerical waveforms are required to further improve semi-analytical models used in gravitational wave data analysis, for example the effective one body models. We discuss in detail the improvements to SpEC's ability to simulate NSNS mergers, in particular mesh refined grids to better resolve the merger and post-merger phases. We provide a set of consistency checks and compare our results to NSNS merger simulations with the independent BAM code. We find agreement between them, which increases confidence in results obtained with either code. This work paves the way for future studies using long waveforms and more complex microphysical descriptions of neutron star matter in SpEC.
- Oct 23 2015 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1510.06398v2Neutron star mergers are among the most promising sources of gravitational waves for advanced ground-based detectors. These mergers are also expected to power bright electromagnetic signals, in the form of short gamma-ray bursts, infrared/optical transients, and radio emission. Simulations of these mergers with fully general relativistic codes are critical to understand the merger and post-merger gravitational wave signals and their neutrinos and electromagnetic counterparts. In this paper, we employ the SpEC code to simulate the merger of low-mass neutron star binaries (two $1.2M_\odot$ neutron stars) for a set of three nuclear-theory based, finite temperature equations of state. We show that the frequency peaks of the post-merger gravitational wave signal are in good agreement with predictions obtained from simulations using a simpler treatment of gravity. We find, however, that only the fundamental mode of the remnant is excited for long periods of time: emission at the secondary peaks is damped on a millisecond timescale in the simulated binaries. For such low-mass systems, the remnant is a massive neutron star which, depending on the equation of state, is either permanently stable or long-lived. We observe strong excitations of l=2, m=2 modes, both in the massive neutron star and in the form of hot, shocked tidal arms in the surrounding accretion torus. We estimate the neutrino emission of the remnant using a neutrino leakage scheme and, in one case, compare these results with a gray two-moment neutrino transport scheme. We confirm the complex geometry of the neutrino emission, also observed in previous simulations with neutrino leakage, and show explicitly the presence of important differences in the neutrino luminosity, disk composition, and outflow properties between the neutrino leakage and transport schemes.
- Sep 22 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1509.05782v3Gravitational waves from binary neutron star (BNS) and black hole/neutron star (BHNS) inspirals are primary sources for detection by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. The tidal forces acting on the neutron stars induce changes in the phase evolution of the gravitational waveform, and these changes can be used to constrain the nuclear equation of state. Current methods of generating BNS and BHNS waveforms rely on either computationally challenging full 3D hydrodynamical simulations or approximate analytic solutions. We introduce a new method for computing inspiral waveforms for BNS/BHNS systems by adding the post-Newtonian (PN) tidal effects to full numerical simulations of binary black holes (BBHs), effectively replacing the nontidal terms in the PN expansion with BBH results. Comparing a waveform generated with this method against a full hydrodynamical simulation of a BNS inspiral yields a phase difference of $<1$ radian over $\sim 15$ orbits. The numerical phase accuracy required of BNS simulations to measure the accuracy of the method we present here is estimated as a function of the tidal deformability parameter ${\lambda}$.
- Aug 28 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1508.06986v1We present a code to construct initial data for binary neutron star systems in which the stars are rotating. Our code, based on a formalism developed by Tichy, allows for arbitrary rotation axes of the neutron stars and is able to achieve rotation rates near rotational breakup. We compute the neutron star angular momentum through quasi-local angular momentum integrals. When constructing irrotational binary neutron stars, we find a very small residual dimensionless spin of $\sim 2\times 10^{-4}$. Evolutions of rotating neutron star binaries show that the magnitude of the stars' angular momentum is conserved, and that the spin- and orbit-precession of the stars is well described by post-Newtonian approximation. We demonstrate that orbital eccentricity of the binary neutron stars can be controlled to $\sim 0.1\%$. The neutron stars show quasi-normal mode oscillations at an amplitude which increases with the rotation rate of the stars.
- Feb 17 2015 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1502.04146v1We present a first simulation of the post-merger evolution of a black hole-neutron star binary in full general relativity using an energy-integrated general relativistic truncated moment formalism for neutrino transport. We describe our implementation of the moment formalism and important tests of our code, before studying the formation phase of a disk after a black hole-neutron star merger. We use as initial data an existing general relativistic simulation of the merger of a neutron star of 1.4 solar mass with a black hole of 7 solar mass and dimensionless spin a/M=0.8. Comparing with a simpler leakage scheme for the treatment of the neutrinos, we find noticeable differences in the neutron to proton ratio in and around the disk, and in the neutrino luminosity. We find that the electron neutrino luminosity is much lower in the transport simulations, and that the remnant is less neutron-rich. The spatial distribution of the neutrinos is significantly affected by relativistic effects. Over the short timescale evolved, we do not observe purely neutrino-driven outflows. However, a small amount of material (3e-4Msun) is ejected in the polar region during the circularization of the disk. Most of that material is ejected early in the formation of the disk, and is fairly neutron rich. Through r-process nucleosynthesis, that material should produce high-opacity lanthanides in the polar region, and could thus affect the lightcurve of radioactively powered electromagnetic transients. We also show that by the end of the simulation, while the bulk of the disk is neutron-rich, its outer layers have a higher electron fraction. As that material would be the first to be unbound by disk outflows on longer timescales, the changes in Ye experienced during the formation of the disk could have an impact on the nucleosynthesis outputs from neutrino-driven and viscously-driven outflows. [Abridged]
- Jan 30 2015 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1501.07276v2In the extreme violence of merger and mass accretion, compact objects like black holes and neutron stars are thought to launch some of the most luminous outbursts of electromagnetic and gravitational wave energy in the Universe. Modeling these systems realistically is a central problem in theoretical astrophysics, but has proven extremely challenging, requiring the development of numerical relativity codes that solve Einstein's equations for the spacetime, coupled to the equations of general relativistic (ideal) magnetohydrodynamics (GRMHD) for the magnetized fluids. Over the past decade, the Illinois Numerical Relativity (ILNR) Group's dynamical spacetime GRMHD code has proven itself as a robust and reliable tool for theoretical modeling of such GRMHD phenomena. However, the code was written "by experts and for experts" of the code, with a steep learning curve that would severely hinder community adoption if it were open-sourced. Here we present IllinoisGRMHD, which is an open-source, highly-extensible rewrite of the original closed-source GRMHD code of the ILNR Group. Reducing the learning curve was the primary focus of this rewrite, with the goal of facilitating community involvement in the code's use and development, as well as the minimization of human effort in generating new science. IllinoisGRMHD also saves computer time, generating roundoff-precision identical output to the original code on adaptive-mesh grids, but nearly twice as fast at scales of hundreds to thousands of cores.
- May 07 2014 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1405.1121v2We present a first exploration of the results of neutron star-black hole mergers using black hole masses in the most likely range of $7M_\odot-10M_\odot$, a neutrino leakage scheme, and a modeling of the neutron star material through a finite-temperature nuclear-theory based equation of state. In the range of black hole spins in which the neutron star is tidally disrupted ($\chi_{\rm BH}\gtrsim 0.7$), we show that the merger consistently produces large amounts of cool ($T\lesssim 1\,{\rm MeV}$), unbound, neutron-rich material ($M_{\rm ej}\sim 0.05M_\odot-0.20M_\odot$). A comparable amount of bound matter is initially divided between a hot disk ($T_{\rm max}\sim 15\,{\rm MeV}$) with typical neutrino luminosity $L_\nu\sim 10^{53}\,{\rm erg/s}$, and a cooler tidal tail. After a short period of rapid protonization of the disk lasting $\sim 10\,{\rm ms}$, the accretion disk cools down under the combined effects of the fall-back of cool material from the tail, continued accretion of the hottest material onto the black hole, and neutrino emission. As the temperature decreases, the disk progressively becomes more neutron-rich, with dimmer neutrino emission. This cooling process should stop once the viscous heating in the disk (not included in our simulations) balances the cooling. These mergers of neutron star-black hole binaries with black hole masses $M_{\rm BH}\sim 7M_\odot-10M_\odot$ and black hole spins high enough for the neutron star to disrupt provide promising candidates for the production of short gamma-ray bursts, of bright infrared post-merger signals due to the radioactive decay of unbound material, and of large amounts of r-process nuclei.
- Jul 22 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1307.5307v3The Numerical-Relativity-Analytical-Relativity (NRAR) collaboration is a joint effort between members of the numerical relativity, analytical relativity and gravitational-wave data analysis communities. The goal of the NRAR collaboration is to produce numerical-relativity simulations of compact binaries and use them to develop accurate analytical templates for the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration to use in detecting gravitational-wave signals and extracting astrophysical information from them. We describe the results of the first stage of the NRAR project, which focused on producing an initial set of numerical waveforms from binary black holes with moderate mass ratios and spins, as well as one non-spinning binary configuration which has a mass ratio of 10. All of the numerical waveforms are analysed in a uniform and consistent manner, with numerical errors evaluated using an analysis code created by members of the NRAR collaboration. We compare previously-calibrated, non-precessing analytical waveforms, notably the effective-one-body (EOB) and phenomenological template families, to the newly-produced numerical waveforms. We find that when the binary's total mass is ~100-200 solar masses, current EOB and phenomenological models of spinning, non-precessing binary waveforms have overlaps above 99% (for advanced LIGO) with all of the non-precessing-binary numerical waveforms with mass ratios <= 4, when maximizing over binary parameters. This implies that the loss of event rate due to modelling error is below 3%. Moreover, the non-spinning EOB waveforms previously calibrated to five non-spinning waveforms with mass ratio smaller than 6 have overlaps above 99.7% with the numerical waveform with a mass ratio of 10, without even maximizing on the binary parameters.
- Jul 15 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1307.3476v2We revisit the problem of computing the self-force on a scalar charge moving along an eccentric geodesic orbit around a Schwarzschild black hole. This work extends previous scalar self-force calculations for circular orbits, which were based on a regular "effective" point-particle source and a full 3D evolution code. We find good agreement between our results and previous calculations based on a (1+1) time-domain code. Finally, our data visualization is unconventional: we plot the self-force through full radial cycles to create "self-force loops", which reveal many interesting features that are less apparent in standard presentations of eccentric-orbit self-force data.
- We study the collapse of rapidly rotating supermassive stars that may have formed in the early Universe. By self-consistently simulating the dynamics from the onset of collapse using three-dimensional general-relativistic hydrodynamics with fully dynamical spacetime evolution, we show that seed perturbations in the progenitor can lead to the formation of a system of two high-spin supermassive black holes, which inspiral and merge under the emission of powerful gravitational radiation that could be observed at redshifts z>10 with the DECIGO or Big Bang Observer gravitational-wave observatories, assuming supermassive stars in the mass range 10^4-10^6 Msol. The remnant is rapidly spinning with dimensionless spin a^*=0.9. The surrounding accretion disk contains ~10% of the initial mass.
- Apr 22 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1304.5544v1We present the new general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamics (GRMHD) capabilities of the Einstein Toolkit, an open-source community-driven numerical relativity and computational relativistic astrophysics code. The GRMHD extension of the Toolkit builds upon previous releases and implements the evolution of relativistic magnetised fluids in the ideal MHD limit in fully dynamical spacetimes using the same shock-capturing techniques previously applied to hydrodynamical evolution. In order to maintain the divergence-free character of the magnetic field, the code implements both hyperbolic divergence cleaning and constrained transport schemes. We present test results for a number of MHD tests in Minkowski and curved spacetimes. Minkowski tests include aligned and oblique planar shocks, cylindrical explosions, magnetic rotors, Alfvén waves and advected loops, as well as a set of tests designed to study the response of the divergence cleaning scheme to numerically generated monopoles. We study the code's performance in curved spacetimes with spherical accretion onto a black hole on a fixed background spacetime and in fully dynamical spacetimes by evolutions of a magnetised polytropic neutron star and of the collapse of a magnetised stellar core. Our results agree well with exact solutions where these are available and we demonstrate convergence. All code and input files used to generate the results are available on http://einsteintoolkit.org. This makes our work fully reproducible and provides new users with an introduction to applications of the code.
- Dec 07 2012 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1212.1191v1We present a new three-dimensional general-relativistic hydrodynamic evolution scheme coupled to dynamical spacetime evolutions which is capable of efficiently simulating stellar collapse, isolated neutron stars, black hole formation, and binary neutron star coalescence. We make use of a set of adapted curvi-linear grids (multipatches) coupled with flux-conservative cell-centered adaptive mesh refinement. This allows us to significantly enlarge our computational domains while still maintaining high resolution in the gravitational-wave extraction zone, the exterior layers of a star, or the region of mass ejection in merging neutron stars. The fluid is evolved with a high-resolution shock capturing finite volume scheme, while the spacetime geometry is evolved using fourth-order finite differences. We employ a multi-rate Runge-Kutta time integration scheme for efficiency, evolving the fluid with second-order and the spacetime geometry with fourth-order integration, respectively. We validate our code by a number of benchmark problems: a rotating stellar collapse model, an excited neutron star, neutron star collapse to a black hole, and binary neutron star coalescence. The test problems, especially the latter, greatly benefit from higher resolution in the gravitational-wave extraction zone, causally disconnected outer boundaries, and application of Cauchy-characteristic gravitational-wave extraction. We show that we are able to extract convergent gravitational-wave modes up to (l,m)=(6,6). This study paves the way for more realistic and detailed studies of compact objects and stellar collapse in full three dimensions and in large computational domains. The multipatch infrastructure and the improvements to mesh refinement and hydrodynamics codes discussed in this paper will be made available as part of the open-source Einstein Toolkit.
- Nov 19 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1211.3889v2We examine Hubeny's scenario according to which a near-extremal Reissner-Nordström black hole can absorb a particle and be driven toward an over-extremal state in which the charge exceeds the mass, signaling the destruction of the black hole. Our analysis incorporates the particle's electromagnetic self-force and the energy radiated to infinity in the form of electromagnetic waves. With these essential ingredients, our sampling of the parameter space reveals no instances of an overcharged final state, and we conjecture that the self-force acts as a cosmic censor, preventing the destruction of a near-extremal black hole by the absorption of a charged particle. We argue, on the basis of the third law of black-hole mechanics, that this conclusion is robust and should apply to attempts to overspin a Kerr black hole.
- Oct 25 2012 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1210.6674v2We study the three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamics of the post-core-bounce phase of the collapse of a 27-solar-mass star and pay special attention to the development of the standing accretion shock instability (SASI) and neutrino-driven convection. To this end, we perform 3D general-relativistic simulations with a 3-species neutrino leakage scheme. The leakage scheme captures the essential aspects of neutrino cooling, heating, and lepton number exchange as predicted by radiation-hydrodynamics simulations. The 27-solar-mass progenitor was studied in 2D by B. Mueller et al. (ApJ 761:72, 2012), who observed strong growth of the SASI while neutrino-driven convection was suppressed. In our 3D simulations, neutrino-driven convection grows from numerical perturbations imposed by our Cartesian grid. It becomes the dominant instability and leads to large-scale non-oscillatory deformations of the shock front. These will result in strongly aspherical explosions without the need for large-scale SASI shock oscillations. Low-l-mode SASI oscillations are present in our models, but saturate at small amplitudes that decrease with increasing neutrino heating and vigor of convection. Our results, in agreement with simpler 3D Newtonian simulations, suggest that once neutrino-driven convection is started, it is likely to become the dominant instability in 3D. Whether it is the primary instability after bounce will ultimately depend on the physical seed perturbations present in the cores of massive stars. The gravitational wave signal, which we extract and analyze for the first time from 3D general-relativistic models, will serve as an observational probe of the postbounce dynamics and, in combination with neutrinos, may allow us to determine the primary hydrodynamic instability.
- Apr 03 2012 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1204.0512v2We present results from a new set of 3D general-relativistic hydrodynamic simulations of rotating iron core collapse. We assume octant symmetry and focus on axisymmetric collapse, bounce, the early postbounce evolution, and the associated gravitational wave (GW) and neutrino signals. We employ a finite-temperature nuclear equation of state, parameterized electron capture in the collapse phase, and a multi-species neutrino leakage scheme after bounce. The latter captures the important effects of deleptonization, neutrino cooling and heating and enables approximate predictions for the neutrino luminosities in the early evolution after core bounce. We consider 12-solar-mass and 40-solar-mass presupernova models and systematically study the effects of (i) rotation, (ii) progenitor structure, and (iii) postbounce neutrino leakage on dynamics, GW, and, neutrino signals. We demonstrate, that the GW signal of rapidly rotating core collapse is practically independent of progenitor mass and precollapse structure. Moreover, we show that the effects of neutrino leakage on the GW signal are strong only in nonrotating or slowly rotating models in which GW emission is not dominated by inner core dynamics. In rapidly rotating cores, core bounce of the centrifugally-deformed inner core excites the fundamental quadrupole pulsation mode of the nascent protoneutron star. The ensuing global oscillations (f~700-800 Hz) lead to pronounced oscillations in the GW signal and correlated strong variations in the rising luminosities of antineutrino and heavy-lepton neutrinos. We find these features in cores that collapse to protoneutron stars with spin periods <~ 2.5 ms and rotational energies sufficient to drive hyper-energetic core-collapse supernova explosions. Hence, joint GW + neutrino observations of a core collapse event could deliver strong evidence for or against rapid core rotation. [abridged]
- Jan 24 2012 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1201.4389v1We present numerical relativity results of tidal disruptions of white dwarfs from ultra-close encounters with a spinning, intermediate mass black hole. These encounters require a full general relativistic treatment of gravity. We show that the disruption process and prompt accretion of the debris strongly depend on the magnitude and orientation of the black hole spin. However, the late-time accretion onto the black hole follows the same decay, $\dot{M}$ ~ t^-5/3, estimated from Newtonian gravity disruption studies. We compute the spectrum of the disk formed from the fallback material using a slim disk model. The disk spectrum peaks in the soft X-rays and sustains Eddington luminosity for 1-3 yrs after the disruption. For arbitrary black hole spin orientations, the disrupted material is scattered away from the orbital plane by relativistic frame dragging, which often leads to obscuration of the inner fallback disk by the outflowing debris. The disruption events also yield bursts of gravitational radiation with characteristic frequencies of ~3.2 Hz and strain amplitudes of ~10^-18 for galactic intermediate mass black holes. The optimistic rate of considered ultra-close disruptions is consistent with no sources found in ROSAT all-sky survey. The future missions like Wide-Field X-ray Telescope (WFXT) could observe dozens of events.
- Dec 19 2011 gr-qc arXiv:1112.3707v1I calculate the self-force acting on a particle with electric charge q moving on a generic geodesic around a Schwarzschild black hole. Using methods similar to those developed for the scalar field case discussed in a previous paper, I investigate the relative sizes of the conservative (half-advanced plus half-retarded) and dissipative (half-advanced minus half-retarded) pieces of the self-force. I also display the regularization parameters used in the mode-sum regularization scheme.
- Gravitational wave observations will probe non-linear gravitational interactions and thus enable strong tests of Einstein's theory of general relativity. We present a numerical relativity study of the late inspiral and merger of binary black holes in scalar-tensor theories of gravity. We consider black hole binaries in an inhomogeneous scalar field, specifically binaries inside a scalar field bubble, in some cases with a potential. We calculate the emission of dipole radiation. We also show how these configurations trigger detectable differences between gravitational waves in scalar-tensor gravity and the corresponding waves in general relativity. We conclude that, barring an external mechanism to induce dynamics in the scalar field, scalar-tensor gravity binary black holes alone are not capable of awaking a dormant scalar field, and are thus observationally indistinguishable from their general relativistic counterparts.
- Nov 15 2011 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1111.3344v1We describe the Einstein Toolkit, a community-driven, freely accessible computational infrastructure intended for use in numerical relativity, relativistic astrophysics, and other applications. The Toolkit, developed by a collaboration involving researchers from multiple institutions around the world, combines a core set of components needed to simulate astrophysical objects such as black holes, compact objects, and collapsing stars, as well as a full suite of analysis tools. The Einstein Toolkit is currently based on the Cactus Framework for high-performance computing and the Carpet adaptive mesh refinement driver. It implements spacetime evolution via the BSSN evolution system and general-relativistic hydrodynamics in a finite-volume discretization. The toolkit is under continuous development and contains many new code components that have been publicly released for the first time and are described in this article. We discuss the motivation behind the release of the toolkit, the philosophy underlying its development, and the goals of the project. A summary of the implemented numerical techniques is included, as are results of numerical test covering a variety of sample astrophysical problems.
- Jan 26 2011 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1101.4684v2Modeling the late inspiral and merger of supermassive black holes is central to understanding accretion processes and the conditions under which electromagnetic emission accompanies gravitational waves. We use fully general relativistic, hydrodynamics simulations to investigate how electromagnetic signatures correlate with black hole spins, mass ratios, and the gaseous environment in this final phase of binary evolution. In all scenarios, we find some form of characteristic electromagnetic variability whose pattern depends on the spins and binary mass ratios. Binaries in hot accretion flows exhibit a flare followed by a sudden drop in luminosity associated with the plunge and merger, as well as quasi-periodic oscillations correlated with the gravitational waves during the inspiral. Conversely, circumbinary disk systems are characterized by a low luminosity of variable emission, suggesting challenging prospects for their detection.
- Oct 13 2010 astro-ph.CO gr-qc arXiv:1010.2496v2What are the properties of accretion flows in the vicinity of coalescing supermassive black holes (SBHs)? The answer to this question has direct implications for the feasibility of coincident detections of electromagnetic (EM) and gravitational wave (GW) signals from coalescences. Such detections are considered to be the next observational grand challenge that will enable testing general relativity in the strong, nonlinear regime and improve our understanding of evolution and growth of these massive compact objects. In this paper we review the properties of the environment of coalescing binaries in the context of the circumbinary disk and hot, radiatively inefficient accretion flow models and use them to mark the extent of the parameter space spanned by this problem. We report the results from an ongoing, general relativistic, hydrodynamical study of the inspiral and merger of black holes, motivated by the latter scenario. We find that correlated EM+GW oscillations can arise during the inspiral phase followed by the gradual rise and subsequent drop-off in the light curve at the time of coalescence. While there are indications that the latter EM signature is a more robust one, a detection of either signal coincidentally with GWs would be a convincing evidence for an impending SBH binary coalescence. The observability of an EM counterpart in the hot accretion flow scenario depends on the details of a model. In the case of the most massive binaries observable by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, upper limits on luminosity imply that they may be identified by EM searches out to z~0.1-1. However, given the radiatively inefficient nature of the gas flow, we speculate that a majority of massive binaries may appear as low luminosity AGN in the local universe.
- Dec 02 2009 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:0912.0087v2Coincident detections of electromagnetic (EM) and gravitational wave (GW) signatures from coalescence events of supermassive black holes are the next observational grand challenge. Such detections will provide the means to study cosmological evolution and accretion processes associated with these gargantuan compact objects. More generally, the observations will enable testing general relativity in the strong, nonlinear regime and will provide independent cosmological measurements to high precision. Understanding the conditions under which coincidences of EM and GW signatures arise during supermassive black hole mergers is therefore of paramount importance. As an essential step towards this goal, we present results from the first fully general relativistic, hydrodynamical study of the late inspiral and merger of equal-mass, spinning supermassive black hole binaries in a gas cloud. We find that variable EM signatures correlated with GWs can arise in merging systems as a consequence of shocks and accretion combined with the effect of relativistic beaming. The most striking EM variability is observed for systems where spins are aligned with the orbital axis and where orbiting black holes form a stable set of density wakes, but all systems exhibit some characteristic signatures that can be utilized in searches for EM counterparts. In the case of the most massive binaries observable by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, calculated luminosities imply that they may be identified by EM searches to z = 1, while lower mass systems and binaries immersed in low density ambient gas can only be detected in the local universe.
- Apr 06 2007 gr-qc arXiv:0704.0797v2We calculate the self-force acting on a particle with scalar charge moving on a generic geodesic around a Schwarzschild black hole. This calculation requires an accurate computation of the retarded scalar field produced by the moving charge; this is done numerically with the help of a fourth-order convergent finite-difference scheme formulated in the time domain. The calculation also requires a regularization procedure, because the retarded field is singular on the particle's world line; this is handled mode-by-mode via the mode-sum regularization scheme first introduced by Barack and Ori. This paper presents the numerical method, various numerical tests, and a sample of results for mildly eccentric orbits as well as ``zoom-whirl'' orbits.
- May 15 2006 gr-qc arXiv:gr-qc/0605077v2We examine the motion in Schwarzschild spacetime of a point particle endowed with a scalar charge. The particle produces a retarded scalar field which interacts with the particle and influences its motion via the action of a self-force. We exploit the spherical symmetry of the Schwarzschild spacetime and decompose the scalar field in spherical-harmonic modes. Although each mode is bounded at the position of the particle, a mode-sum evaluation of the self-force requires regularization because the sum does not converge: the retarded field is infinite at the position of the particle. The regularization procedure involves the computation of regularization parameters, which are obtained from a mode decomposition of the Detweiler-Whiting singular field; these are subtracted from the modes of the retarded field, and the result is a mode-sum that converges to the actual self-force. We present such a computation in this paper. There are two main aspects of our work that are new. First, we define the regularization parameters as scalar quantities by referring them to a tetrad decomposition of the singular field. Second, we calculate four sets of regularization parameters (denoted schematically by A, B, C, and D) instead of the usual three (A, B, and C). As proof of principle that our methods are reliable, we calculate the self-force acting on a scalar charge in circular motion around a Schwarzschild black hole, and compare our answers with those recorded in the literature.
- Nov 24 2004 gr-qc arXiv:gr-qc/0411108v1Continuing previous work reported in an earlier paper [L.M. Burko, A.I. Harte, and E. Poisson, Phys. Rev. D 65, 124006 (2002)] we calculate the self-force acting on a point scalar charge in a wide class of cosmological spacetimes. The self-force produces two types of effect. The first is a time-changing inertial mass, and this is calculated exactly for a particle at rest relative to the cosmological fluid. We show that for certain cosmological models, the mass decreases and then increases back to its original value. For all other models except de Sitter spacetime, the mass is restored only to a fraction of its original value. For de Sitter spacetime the mass steadily decreases. The second effect is a deviation relative to geodesic motion, and we calculate this for a charge that moves slowly relative to the dust in a matter-dominated cosmology. We show that the net effect of the self-force is to push on the particle. We show that this is not an artifact of the scalar theory: The electromagnetic self-force acting on an electrically charged particle also pushes on the particle. The paper concludes with a demonstration that the pushing effect can also occur in the context of slow-motion electrodynamics in flat spacetime.