results for au:Kidder_L in:gr-qc

- Mar 22 2018 gr-qc arXiv:1803.07695v1In this paper, we test the performance of templates in detection and characterization of Spin-orbit resonant (SOR) binaries. We use precessing SEOBNRv3 waveforms as well as \it four numerical relativity (NR) waveforms to model GWs from SOR binaries and filter them through IMRPhenomD, SEOBNRv4 (non-precessing) and IMRPhenomPv2 (precessing) approximants. We find that IMRPhenomD and SEOBNRv4 recover only $\sim70\%$ of injections with fitting factor (FF) higher than 0.97 (or 90\% of injections with ${\rm FF} >0.9$).However, using the sky-maxed statistic, IMRPhenomPv2 performs magnificently better than their non-precessing counterparts with recovering $99\%$ of the injections with FFs higher than 0.97. Interestingly, injections with $\Delta \phi = 180^{\circ}$ have higher FFs ($\Delta \phi$ is the angle between the components of the black hole spins in the plane orthogonal to the orbital angular momentum) as compared to their $\Delta \phi =0^{\circ}$ and generic counterparts. This implies that we will have a slight observation bias towards $\Delta \phi=180^{\circ}$ SORs while using non-precessing templates for searches. All template approximants are able to recover most of the injected NR waveforms with FFs $>0.95$. For all the injections including NR, the error in estimating chirp mass remains below $<10\%$ with minimum error for $\Delta \phi = 180^{\circ}$ resonant binaries. The symmetric mass ratio can be estimated with errors below $15\%$. The effective spin parameter $\chi_{\rm eff}$ is measured with maximum absolute error of 0.13. The in-plane spin parameter $\chi_p$ is mostly underestimated indicating that a precessing signal will be recovered as a relatively less precessing signal. Based on our findings, we conclude that we not only need improvements in waveform models towards precession and non-quadrupole modes but also better search strategies for precessing GW signals.
- Feb 26 2018 gr-qc arXiv:1802.08682v1We present results from the first study of critical behavior in 3-d gravitational collapse. The source of the gravitational field is a massless scalar field. This is a well-studied case for spherically symmetric gravitational collapse, allowing us to understand the reliability and accuracy of the simulations. We study both supercritical and subcritical evolutions to see if one provides more accurate results than the other. We find that even for highly non-spherical initial data, the critical solution is the same as in spherical symmetry.
- Dec 19 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.GA arXiv:1712.05836v2In response to LIGO's observation of GW170104, we performed a series of full numerical simulations of binary black holes, each designed to replicate likely realizations of its dynamics and radiation. These simulations have been performed at multiple resolutions and with two independent techniques to solve Einstein's equations. For the nonprecessing and precessing simulations, we demonstrate the two techniques agree mode by mode, at a precision substantially in excess of statistical uncertainties in current LIGO's observations. Conversely, we demonstrate our full numerical solutions contain information which is not accurately captured with the approximate phenomenological models commonly used to infer compact binary parameters. To quantify the impact of these differences on parameter inference for GW170104 specifically, we compare the predictions of our simulations and these approximate models to LIGO's observations of GW170104.
- Sep 08 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1709.02007v1We present a prescription for computing gravitational waveforms for the inspiral, merger and ringdown of non-spinning eccentric binary black hole systems. The inspiral waveform is computed using the post-Newtonian expansion and the merger waveform is computed by interpolating a small number of quasi-circular NR waveforms. The use of circular merger waveforms is possible because eccentric binaries circularize in the last few cycles before the merger, which we demonstrate up to mass ratio $q = m_1/m_2 = 3$. The complete model is calibrated to 23 numerical relativity (NR) simulations starting ~20 cycles before the merger with eccentricities $e_\text{ref} \le 0.08$ and mass ratios $q \le 3$, where $e_\text{ref}$ is the eccentricity ~7 cycles before the merger. The NR waveforms are long enough that they start above 30 Hz (10 Hz) for BBH systems with total mass $M \ge 80 M_\odot$ ($230 M_\odot$). We find that, for the sensitivity of advanced LIGO at the time of its first observing run, the eccentric model has a faithfulness with NR of over 97% for systems with total mass $M \ge 85 M_\odot$ across the parameter space ($e_\text{ref} \le 0.08, q \le 3$). For systems with total mass $M \ge 70 M_\odot$, the faithfulness is over 97% for $e_\text{ref} \lesssim 0.05$ and $q \le 3$. The NR waveforms and the Mathematica code for the model are publicly available.
- May 30 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1705.09833v1We present and assess a Bayesian method to interpret gravitational wave signals from binary black holes. Our method directly compares gravitational wave data to numerical relativity simulations. This procedure bypasses approximations used in semi-analytical models for compact binary coalescence. In this work, we use only the full posterior parameter distribution for generic nonprecessing binaries, drawing inferences away from the set of NR simulations used, via interpolation of a single scalar quantity (the marginalized log-likelihood, $\ln {\cal L}$) evaluated by comparing data to nonprecessing binary black hole simulations. We also compare the data to generic simulations, and discuss the effectiveness of this procedure for generic sources. We specifically assess the impact of higher order modes, repeating our interpretation with both $l\le2$ as well as $l\le3$ harmonic modes. Using the $l\le3$ higher modes, we gain more information from the signal and can better constrain the parameters of the gravitational wave signal. We assess and quantify several sources of systematic error that our procedure could introduce, including simulation resolution and duration; most are negligible. We show through examples that our method can recover the parameters for equal mass, zero spin; GW150914-like; and unequal mass, precessing spin sources. Our study of this new parameter estimation method demonstrates we can quantify and understand the systematic and statistical error. This method allows us to use higher order modes from numerical relativity simulations to better constrain the black hole binary parameters.
- A Numerical Relativity Waveform Surrogate Model for Generically Precessing Binary Black Hole MergersMay 22 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1705.07089v2A generic, non-eccentric binary black hole (BBH) system emits gravitational waves (GWs) that are completely described by 7 intrinsic parameters: the black hole spin vectors and the ratio of their masses. Simulating a BBH coalescence by solving Einstein's equations numerically is computationally expensive, requiring days to months of computing resources for a single set of parameter values. Since theoretical predictions of the GWs are often needed for many different source parameters, a fast and accurate model is essential. We present the first surrogate model for GWs from the coalescence of BBHs including all $7$ dimensions of the intrinsic non-eccentric parameter space. The surrogate model, which we call NRSur7dq2, is built from the results of $744$ numerical relativity simulations. NRSur7dq2 covers spin magnitudes up to $0.8$ and mass ratios up to $2$, includes all $\ell \leq 4$ modes, begins about $20$ orbits before merger, and can be evaluated in $\sim~50\,\mathrm{ms}$. We find the largest NRSur7dq2 errors to be comparable to the largest errors in the numerical relativity simulations, and more than an order of magnitude smaller than the errors of other waveform models. Our model, and more broadly the methods developed here, will enable studies that would otherwise require millions of numerical relativity waveforms, such as parameter inference and tests of general relativity with GW observations.
- Nov 24 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1611.07531v2Parameter estimates of GW150914 were obtained using Bayesian inference, based on three semi-analytic waveform models for binary black hole coalescences. These waveform models differ from each other in their treatment of black hole spins, and all three models make some simplifying assumptions, notably to neglect sub-dominant waveform harmonic modes and orbital eccentricity. Furthermore, while the models are calibrated to agree with waveforms obtained by full numerical solutions of Einstein's equations, any such calibration is accurate only to some non-zero tolerance and is limited by the accuracy of the underlying phenomenology, availability, quality, and parameter-space coverage of numerical simulations. This paper complements the original analyses of GW150914 with an investigation of the effects of possible systematic errors in the waveform models on estimates of its source parameters. To test for systematic errors we repeat the original Bayesian analyses on mock signals from numerical simulations of a series of binary configurations with parameters similar to those found for GW150914. Overall, we find no evidence for a systematic bias relative to the statistical error of the original parameter recovery of GW150914 due to modeling approximations or modeling inaccuracies. However, parameter biases are found to occur for some configurations disfavored by the data of GW150914: for binaries inclined edge-on to the detector over a small range of choices of polarization angles, and also for eccentricities greater than $\sim$0.05. For signals with higher signal-to-noise ratio than GW150914, or in other regions of the binary parameter space (lower masses, larger mass ratios, or higher spins), we expect that systematic errors in current waveform models may impact gravitational-wave measurements, making more accurate models desirable for future observations.
- Nov 14 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1611.03703v3We improve the accuracy of the effective-one-body (EOB) waveforms that were employed during the first observing run of Advanced LIGO for binaries of spinning, nonprecessing black holes by calibrating them to a set of 141 numerical-relativity (NR) waveforms. The NR simulations expand the domain of calibration towards larger mass ratios and spins, as compared to the previous EOBNR model. Merger-ringdown waveforms computed in black-hole perturbation theory for Kerr spins close to extremal provide additional inputs to the calibration. For the inspiral-plunge phase, we use a Markov-chain Monte Carlo algorithm to efficiently explore the calibration space. For the merger-ringdown phase, we fit the NR signals with phenomenological formulae. After extrapolation of the calibrated model to arbitrary mass ratios and spins, the (dominant-mode) EOBNR waveforms have faithfulness --- at design Advanced-LIGO sensitivity --- above $99\%$ against all the NR waveforms, including 16 additional waveforms used for validation, when maximizing only on initial phase and time. This implies a negligible loss in event rate due to modeling for these binary configurations. We find that future NR simulations at mass ratios $\gtrsim 4$ and double spin $\gtrsim 0.8$ will be crucial to resolve discrepancies between different ways of extrapolating waveform models. We also find that some of the NR simulations that already exist in such region of parameter space are too short to constrain the low-frequency portion of the models. Finally, we build a reduced-order version of the EOBNR model to speed up waveform generation by orders of magnitude, thus enabling intensive data-analysis applications during the upcoming observation runs of Advanced LIGO.
- Nov 07 2016 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1611.01159v1Neutron star-black hole binaries are among the strongest sources of gravitational waves detectable by current observatories. They can also power bright electromagnetic signals (gamma-ray bursts, kilonovae), and may be a significant source of production of r-process nuclei. A misalignment of the black hole spin with respect to the orbital angular momentum leads to precession of that spin and of the orbital plane, and has a significant effect on the properties of the post-merger remnant and of the material ejected by the merger. We present a first set of simulations of precessing neutron star-black hole mergers using a hot, composition dependent, nuclear-theory based equation of state (DD2). We show that the mass of the remnant and of the dynamical ejecta are broadly consistent with the result of simulations using simpler equations of state, while differences arise when considering the dynamics of the merger and the velocity of the ejecta. We show that the latter can easily be understood from assumptions about the composition of low-density, cold material in the different equations of state, and propose an updated estimate for the ejecta velocity which takes those effects into account. We also present an updated mesh-refinement algorithm which allows us to improve the numerical resolution used to evolve neutron star-black hole mergers.
- 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 $e_0^{\rm GW151226}\leq0.1$.
- We introduce a new relativistic astrophysics code, SpECTRE, that combines a discontinuous Galerkin method with a task-based parallelism model. SpECTRE's goal is to achieve more accurate solutions for challenging relativistic astrophysics problems such as core-collapse supernovae and binary neutron star mergers. The robustness of the discontinuous Galerkin method allows for the use of high-resolution shock capturing methods in regions where (relativistic) shocks are found, while exploiting high-order accuracy in smooth regions. A task-based parallelism model allows efficient use of the largest supercomputers for problems with a heterogeneous workload over disparate spatial and temporal scales. We argue that the locality and algorithmic structure of discontinuous Galerkin methods will exhibit good scalability within a task-based parallelism framework. We demonstrate the code on a wide variety of challenging benchmark problems in (non)-relativistic (magneto)-hydrodynamics. We demonstrate the code's scalability including its strong scaling on the NCSA Blue Waters supercomputer up to the machine's full capacity of 22,380 nodes using 671,400 threads.
- Jul 28 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1607.07962v1The coalescence of a neutron star with a black hole is a primary science target of ground-based gravitational wave detectors. Constraining or measuring the neutron star spin directly from gravitational wave observations requires knowledge of the dependence of the emission properties of these systems on the neutron star spin. This paper lays foundations for this task, by developing a numerical method to construct initial data for black hole--neutron star binaries with arbitrary spin on the neutron star. We demonstrate the robustness of the code by constructing initial-data sets in large regions of the parameter space. In addition to varying the neutron star spin-magnitude and spin-direction, we also explore neutron star compactness, mass-ratio, black hole spin, and black hole spin-direction. Specifically, we are able to construct initial data sets with neutron stars spinning near centrifugal break-up, and with black hole spins as large as $S_{\rm BH}/M_{\rm BH}^2=0.99$.
- Jul 27 2016 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1607.07450v2Binary neutron star mergers are promising sources of gravitational waves for ground-based detectors such as Advanced LIGO. Neutron-rich material ejected by these mergers may also be the main source of r-process elements in the Universe, while radioactive decays in the ejecta can power bright electromagnetic post-merger signals. Neutrino-matter interactions play a critical role in the evolution of the composition of the ejected material, which significantly impacts the outcome of nucleosynthesis and the properties of the associated electromagnetic signal. In this work, we present a simulation of a binary neutron star merger using an improved method for estimating the average neutrino energies in our energy-integrated neutrino transport scheme. These energy estimates are obtained by evolving the neutrino number density in addition to the neutrino energy and flux densities. We show that significant changes are observed in the composition of the polar ejecta when comparing our new results with earlier simulations in which the neutrino spectrum was assumed to be the same everywhere in optically thin regions. In particular, we find that material ejected in the polar regions is less neutron rich than previously estimated. Our new estimates of the composition of the polar ejecta make it more likely that the color and timescale of the electromagnetic signal depend on the orientation of the binary with respect to an observer's line-of-sight. These results also indicate that important observable properties of neutron star mergers are sensitive to the neutrino energy spectrum, and may need to be studied through simulations including a more accurate, energy-dependent neutrino transport scheme.
- Jul 20 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1607.05377v1In fall of 2015, the two LIGO detectors measured the gravitational wave signal GW150914, which originated from a pair of merging black holes. In the final 0.2 seconds (about 8 gravitational-wave cycles) before the amplitude reached its maximum, the observed signal swept up in amplitude and frequency, from 35 Hz to 150 Hz. The theoretical gravitational-wave signal for merging black holes, as predicted by general relativity, can be computed only by full numerical relativity, because analytic approximations fail near the time of merger. Moreover, the nearly-equal masses, moderate spins, and small number of orbits of GW150914 are especially straightforward and efficient to simulate with modern numerical-relativity codes. In this paper, we report the modeling of GW150914 with numerical-relativity simulations, using black-hole masses and spins consistent with those inferred from LIGO's measurement. In particular, we employ two independent numerical-relativity codes that use completely different analytical and numerical methods to model the same merging black holes and to compute the emitted gravitational waveform; we find excellent agreement between the waveforms produced by the two independent codes. These results demonstrate the validity, impact, and potential of current and future studies using rapid-response, targeted numerical-relativity simulations for better understanding gravitational-wave observations.
- We compare GW150914 directly to simulations of coalescing binary black holes in full general relativity, accounting for all the spin-weighted quadrupolar modes, and separately accounting for all the quadrupolar and octopolar modes. Consistent with the posterior distributions reported in LVC_PE[1] (at 90% confidence), we find the data are compatible with a wide range of nonprecessing and precessing simulations. Followup simulations performed using previously-estimated binary parameters most resemble the data. Comparisons including only the quadrupolar modes constrain the total redshifted mass Mz ∈[64 - 82M_⊙], mass ratio q = m2/m1 ∈[0.6,1], and effective aligned spin \chi_eff ∈[-0.3, 0.2], where \chi_eff = (S1/m1 + S2/m2) ⋅\hatL /M. Including both quadrupolar and octopolar modes, we find the mass ratio is even more tightly constrained. Simulations with extreme mass ratios and effective spins are highly inconsistent with the data, at any mass. Several nonprecessing and precessing simulations with similar mass ratio and \chi_eff are consistent with the data. Though correlated, the components' spins (both in magnitude and directions) are not significantly constrained by the data. For nonprecessing binaries, interpolating between simulations, we reconstruct a posterior distribution consistent with previous results. The final black hole's redshifted mass is consistent with Mf,z between 64.0 - 73.5M_⊙and the final black hole's dimensionless spin parameter is consistent with af = 0.62 - 0.73. As our approach invokes no intermediate approximations to general relativity and can strongly reject binaries whose radiation is inconsistent with the data, our analysis provides a valuable complement to LVC_PE[1].
- Jun 03 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1606.00437v1With Advanced LIGO detecting the gravitational waves emitted from a pair of merging black holes in late 2015, we have a new perspective into the strong field regime of binary black hole systems. Event horizons are the defining features of such black hole spacetimes. We introduce a new code for locating event horizons in numerical simulations based on a Delaunay triangulation on a topological sphere. The code can automatically refine arbitrary regions of the event horizon surface to find and explore features such as the hole in a toroidal event horizon, as discussed in our companion paper. We also investigate various ways of integrating the geodesic equation and find evolution equations that can be integrated efficiently with high accuracy.
- Jun 03 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1606.00436v1We find the first binary black hole event horizon with a toroidal topology. It had been predicted that generically the event horizons of merging black holes should briefly have a toroidal topology, but such a phase has never been seen prior to this work. In all previous binary black hole simulations, in the coordinate slicing used to evolve the black holes, the topology of the event horizon transitions directly from two spheres during the inspiral to a single sphere as the black holes merge. We present a coordinate transformation to a foliation of spacelike hypersurfaces that "cut a hole" through the event horizon surface, resulting in a toroidal event horizon. A torus could potentially provide a mechanism for violating topological censorship. However, these toroidal event horizons satisfy topological censorship by construction, because we can always trivially apply the inverse coordinate transformation to remove the topological feature.
- 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.
- Feb 12 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1602.03840v2On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected a gravitational-wave transient (GW150914); we characterize the properties of the source and its parameters. The data around the time of the event were analyzed coherently across the LIGO network using a suite of accurate waveform models that describe gravitational waves from a compact binary system in general relativity. GW150914 was produced by a nearly equal mass binary black hole of $36^{+5}_{-4} M_\odot$ and $29^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot$; for each parameter we report the median value and the range of the 90% credible interval. The dimensionless spin magnitude of the more massive black hole is bound to be $<0.7$ (at 90% probability). The luminosity distance to the source is $410^{+160}_{-180}$ Mpc, corresponding to a redshift $0.09^{+0.03}_{-0.04}$ assuming standard cosmology. The source location is constrained to an annulus section of $610$ deg$^2$, primarily in the southern hemisphere. The binary merges into a black hole of $62^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot$ and spin $0.67^{+0.05}_{-0.07}$. This black hole is significantly more massive than any other inferred from electromagnetic observations in the stellar-mass regime.
- Extracting the unique information on ultradense nuclear matter from the gravitational waves emitted by merging, neutron-star binaries requires robust theoretical models of the signal. We develop a novel effective-one-body waveform model that includes, for the first time, dynamic (instead of only adiabatic) tides of the neutron star, as well as the merger signal for neutron-star--black-hole binaries. We demonstrate the importance of the dynamic tides by comparing our model against new numerical-relativity simulations of nonspinning neutron-star--black-hole binaries spanning more than 24 gravitational-wave cycles, and to other existing numerical simulations for double neutron-star systems. Furthermore, we derive an effective description that makes explicit the dependence of matter effects on two key parameters: tidal deformability and fundamental oscillation frequency.
- Jan 21 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1601.05396v2Coalescing binary black holes are among the primary science targets for second generation ground-based gravitational wave (GW) detectors. Reliable GW models are central to detection of such systems and subsequent parameter estimation. This paper performs a comprehensive analysis of the accuracy of recent waveform models for binary black holes with aligned spins, utilizing a new set of $84$ high-accuracy numerical relativity simulations. Our analysis covers comparable mass binaries ($1\le m_1/m_2\le 3$), and samples independently both black hole spins up to dimensionless spin-magnitude of $0.9$ for equal-mass binaries and $0.85$ for unequal mass binaries. Furthermore, we focus on the high-mass regime (total mass $\gtrsim 50M_\odot$). The two most recent waveform models considered (PhenomD and SEOBNRv2) both perform very well for signal detection, losing less than 0.5\% of the recoverable signal-to-noise ratio $\rho$, except that SEOBNRv2's efficiency drops mildly for both black hole spins aligned with large magnitude. For parameter estimation, modeling inaccuracies of SEOBNRv2 are found to be smaller than systematic uncertainties for moderately strong GW events up to roughly $\rho\lesssim 15$. PhenomD's modeling errors are found to be smaller than SEOBNRv2's, and are generally irrelevant for $\rho\lesssim 20$. Both models' accuracy deteriorates with increased mass-ratio, and when at least one black hole spin is large and aligned. The SEOBNRv2 model shows a pronounced disagreement with the numerical relativity simulation in the merger phase, for unequal masses and simultaneously both black hole spins very large and aligned. Two older waveform models (PhenomC and SEOBNRv1) are found to be distinctly less accurate than the more recent PhenomD and SEOBNRv2 models. Finally, we quantify the bias expected from all GW models during parameter estimation for recovery of binary's masses and spins.
- Dec 22 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1512.06800v2We present a new set of 95 numerical relativity simulations of non-precessing binary black holes (BBHs). The simulations sample comprehensively both black-hole spins up to spin magnitude of 0.9, and cover mass ratios 1 to 3. The simulations cover on average 24 inspiral orbits, plus merger and ringdown, with low initial orbital eccentricities $e<10^{-4}$. A subset of the simulations extends the coverage of non-spinning BBHs up to mass ratio $q=10$. Gravitational waveforms at asymptotic infinity are computed with two independent techniques, extrapolation, and Cauchy characteristic extraction. An error analysis based on noise-weighted inner products is performed. We find that numerical truncation error, error due to gravitational wave extraction, and errors due to the finite length of the numerical waveforms are of similar magnitude, with gravitational wave extraction errors somewhat dominating at noise-weighted mismatches of $\sim 3\times 10^{-4}$. This set of waveforms will serve to validate and improve aligned-spin waveform models for gravitational wave science.
- 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.
- 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 18 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1502.04953v1We present the first numerical-relativity simulation of a compact-object binary whose gravitational waveform is long enough to cover the entire frequency band of advanced gravitational-wave detectors, such as LIGO, Virgo and KAGRA, for mass ratio 7 and total mass as low as $45.5\,M_\odot$. We find that effective-one-body models, either uncalibrated or calibrated against substantially shorter numerical-relativity waveforms at smaller mass ratios, reproduce our new waveform remarkably well, with a negligible loss in detection rate due to modeling error. In contrast, post-Newtonian inspiral waveforms and existing calibrated phenomenological inspiral-merger-ringdown waveforms display greater disagreement with our new simulation. The disagreement varies substantially depending on the specific post-Newtonian approximant used.
- 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]
- Feb 09 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1502.01747v1Binary black-hole systems are expected to be important sources of gravitational waves for upcoming gravitational-wave detectors. If the spins are not colinear with each other or with the orbital angular momentum, these systems exhibit complicated precession dynamics that are imprinted on the gravitational waveform. We develop a new procedure to match the precession dynamics computed by post-Newtonian (PN) theory to those of numerical binary black-hole simulations in full general relativity. For numerical relativity NR) simulations lasting approximately two precession cycles, we find that the PN and NR predictions for the directions of the orbital angular momentum and the spins agree to better than $\sim 1^{\circ}$ with NR during the inspiral, increasing to $5^{\circ}$ near merger. Nutation of the orbital plane on the orbital time-scale agrees well between NR and PN, whereas nutation of the spin direction shows qualitatively different behavior in PN and NR. We also examine how the PN equations for precession and orbital-phase evolution converge with PN order, and we quantify the impact of various choices for handling partially known PN terms.
- Dec 05 2014 gr-qc arXiv:1412.1803v1Astrophysical black holes could be nearly extremal (that is, rotating nearly as fast as possible); therefore, nearly extremal black holes could be among the binaries that current and future gravitational-wave observatories will detect. Predicting the gravitational waves emitted by merging black holes requires numerical-relativity simulations, but these simulations are especially challenging when one or both holes have mass $m$ and spin $S$ exceeding the Bowen-York limit of $S/m^2=0.93$. We present improved methods that enable us to simulate merging, nearly extremal black holes more robustly and more efficiently. We use these methods to simulate an unequal-mass, precessing binary black hole coalescence, where the larger black hole has $S/m^2=0.99$. We also use these methods to simulate a non-precessing binary black hole coalescence, where both black holes have $S/m^2=0.994$, nearly reaching the Novikov-Thorne upper bound for holes spun up by thin accretion disks. We demonstrate numerical convergence and estimate the numerical errors of the waveforms; we compare numerical waveforms from our simulations with post-Newtonian and effective-one-body waveforms; we compare the evolution of the black-hole masses and spins with analytic predictions; and we explore the effect of increasing spin magnitude on the orbital dynamics (the so-called "orbital hangup" effect).
- Nov 27 2014 gr-qc arXiv:1411.7297v2The spin angular momentum $S$ of an isolated Kerr black hole is bounded by the surface area $A$ of its apparent horizon: $8\pi S \le A$, with equality for extremal black holes. In this paper, we explore the extremality of individual and common apparent horizons for merging, rapidly spinning binary black holes. We consider simulations of merging black holes with equal masses $M$ and initial spin angular momenta aligned with the orbital angular momentum, including new simulations with spin magnitudes up to $S/M^2 = 0.994$. We measure the area and (using approximate Killing vectors) the spin on the individual and common apparent horizons, finding that the inequality $8\pi S < A$ is satisfied in all cases but is very close to equality on the common apparent horizon at the instant it first appears. We also introduce a gauge-invariant lower bound on the extremality by computing the smallest value that Booth and Fairhurst's extremality parameter can take for any scaling. Using this lower bound, we conclude that the common horizons are at least moderately close to extremal just after they appear. Finally, following Lovelace et al. (2008), we construct quasiequilibrium binary-black-hole initial data with "overspun" marginally trapped surfaces with $8\pi S > A$ and for which our lower bound on their Booth-Fairhurst extremality exceeds unity. These superextremal surfaces are always surrounded by marginally outer trapped surfaces (i.e., by apparent horizons) with $8\pi S<A$. The extremality lower bound on the enclosing apparent horizon is always less than unity but can exceed the value for an extremal Kerr black hole. (Abstract abbreviated.)
- Sep 26 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1409.7159v1For highly compact neutron stars, constructing numerical initial data for black hole-neutron star binary evolutions is very difficult. We describe improvements to an earlier method that enable it to handle these more challenging cases. We examine the case of a 6:1 mass ratio system in inspiral close to merger, where the star is governed by a polytropic $\Gamma=2$, an SLy, or an LS220 equation of state. In particular, we are able to obtain a solution with a realistic LS220 equation of state for a star with compactness 0.26 and mass 1.98 $M_\odot$, which is representative of the highest reliably determined neutron star masses. For the SLy equation of state, we can obtain solutions with a comparable compactness of 0.25, while for a family of polytropic equations of state, we obtain solutions with compactness up to 0.21, the largest compactness that is stable in this family. These compactness values are significantly higher than any previously published results. We find that improvements in adapting the computational domain to the neutron star surface and in accounting for the center of mass drift of the system are the key ingredients allowing us to obtain these solutions.
- Sep 17 2014 gr-qc arXiv:1409.4431v2Gravitational waves from precessing black-hole binaries exhibit features that are absent in nonprecessing systems. The most prominent of these is a parity-violating asymmetry that beams energy and linear momentum preferentially along or opposite to the orbital angular momentum, leading to recoil of the binary. The asymmetry will appear as amplitude and phase modulations at the orbital frequency. For strongly precessing systems, it accounts for at least 3% amplitude modulation for binaries in the sensitivity band of ground-based gravitational-wave detectors, and can exceed 50% for massive systems. Such asymmetric features are also clearly visible when the waves are decomposed into modes of spin-weighted spherical harmonics, and are inherent in the waves themselves---rather than resulting from residual eccentricity in numerical simulations, or from mode-mixing due to precession. In particular, there is generically no instantaneous frame for which the mode decomposition will have any symmetry. We introduce a method to simplify the expressions for waveforms given in analytical relativity, which can be used to combine existing high-order waveforms for nonprecessing systems with expressions for the precessing contributions, leading to improved accuracy and a unified treatment of precessing and nonprecessing binaries. Using this method, it is possible to clarify the nature and the origins of the asymmetries and show the effects of asymmetry on recoils more clearly. We present post-Newtonian (PN) expressions for the waveform modes that include these terms, complete to the relative 2PN level in spin (proportional to $v^4/c^4$ times a certain combination of the spins). Comparing the results of those expressions to numerical results, we find good qualitative agreement. We also demonstrate how these expressions can be used to efficiently calculate waveforms for gravitational-wave astronomy.
- May 12 2014 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1405.2144v1Dynamical instabilities in protoneutron stars may produce gravitational waves whose observation could shed light on the physics of core-collapse supernovae. When born with sufficient differential rotation, these stars are susceptible to a shear instability (the "low-T/|W| instability"), but such rotation can also amplify magnetic fields to strengths where they have a considerable impact on the dynamics of the stellar matter. Using a new magnetohydrodynamics module for the Spectral Einstein Code, we have simulated a differentially-rotating neutron star in full 3D to study the effects of magnetic fields on this instability. Though strong toroidal fields were predicted to suppress the low-T/|W| instability, we find that they do so only in a small range of field strengths. Below 4e13 G, poloidal seed fields do not wind up fast enough to have an effect before the instability saturates, while above 5e14 G, magnetic instabilities can actually amplify a global quadrupole mode (this threshold may be even lower in reality, as small-scale magnetic instabilities remain difficult to resolve numerically). Thus, the prospects for observing gravitational waves from such systems are not in fact diminished over most of the magnetic parameter space. Additionally, we report that the detailed development of the low-T/|W| instability, including its growth rate, depends strongly on the particular numerical methods used. The high-order methods we employ suggest that growth might be considerably slower than found in some previous simulations.
- 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.
- Jan 07 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1401.0939v1The Numerical INJection Analysis (NINJA) project is a collaborative effort between members of the numerical relativity and gravitational-wave astrophysics communities. The purpose of NINJA is to study the ability to detect gravitational waves emitted from merging binary black holes and recover their parameters with next-generation gravitational-wave observatories. We report here on the results of the second NINJA project, NINJA-2, which employs 60 complete binary black hole hybrid waveforms consisting of a numerical portion modelling the late inspiral, merger, and ringdown stitched to a post-Newtonian portion modelling the early inspiral. In a "blind injection challenge" similar to that conducted in recent LIGO and Virgo science runs, we added 7 hybrid waveforms to two months of data recolored to predictions of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo sensitivity curves during their first observing runs. The resulting data was analyzed by gravitational-wave detection algorithms and 6 of the waveforms were recovered with false alarm rates smaller than 1 in a thousand years. Parameter estimation algorithms were run on each of these waveforms to explore the ability to constrain the masses, component angular momenta and sky position of these waveforms. We also perform a large-scale monte-carlo study to assess the ability to recover each of the 60 hybrid waveforms with early Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo sensitivity curves. Our results predict that early Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo will have a volume-weighted average sensitive distance of 300Mpc (1Gpc) for $10M_{\odot}+10M_{\odot}$ ($50M_{\odot}+50M_{\odot}$) binary black hole coalescences. We demonstrate that neglecting the component angular momenta in the waveform models used in matched-filtering will result in a reduction in sensitivity for systems with large component angular momenta. [Abstract abridged for ArXiv, full version in PDF]
- Nov 12 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1311.2544v1Gravitational waves emitted by black-hole binary systems have the highest signal-to-noise ratio in LIGO and Virgo detectors when black-hole spins are aligned with the orbital angular momentum and extremal. For such systems, we extend the effective-one-body inspiral-merger-ringdown waveforms to generic mass ratios and spins calibrating them to 38 numerical-relativity nonprecessing waveforms produced by the SXS Collaboration. The numerical-relativity simulations span mass ratios from 1 to 8, spin magnitudes up to 98% of extremality, and last for 40 to 60 gravitational-wave cycles. When the total mass of the binary is between 20Msun and 200Msun, the effective-one-body nonprecessing (dominant mode) waveforms have overlaps above 99% (using the advanced-LIGO design noise spectral density) with all of the 38 nonprecessing numerical waveforms, when maximizing only on initial phase and time. This implies a negligible loss in event rate due to modeling. Moreover, without further calibration, we show that the precessing effective-one-body (dominant mode) waveforms have overlaps above 97% with two very long, strongly precessing numerical-relativity waveforms, when maximizing only on the initial phase and time.
- Nov 12 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1311.2565v1The detection of gravitational waves and the extraction of physical information from them requires the prediction of accurate waveforms to be used in template banks. For that purpose, the accuracy of effective-one-body (EOB) waveforms has been improved over the last years by calibrating them to numerical-relativity (NR) waveforms. So far, the calibration has employed a handful of NR waveforms with a total length of ~30 cycles, the length being limited by the computational cost of NR simulations. Here we address the outstanding problem of the stability of the EOB calibration with respect to the length of NR waveforms. Performing calibration studies against NR waveforms of nonspinning black-hole binaries with mass ratios 1, 1.5, 5, and 8, and with a total length of ~60 cycles, we find that EOB waveforms calibrated against either 30 or 60 cycles will be indistinguishable by the advanced detectors LIGO and Virgo when the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is below 110. When extrapolating to a very large number of cycles, using very conservative assumptions, we can conclude that state-of-the-art nonspinning EOB waveforms of any length are sufficiently accurate for parameter estimation with advanced detectors when the SNR is below 20, the mass ratio is below 5 and total mass is above 20 Msun. The results are not conclusive for the entire parameter space because of current NR errors.
- Gravitational waves (GW) from coalescing stellar-mass black hole binaries (BBH) are expected to be detected by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory and Advanced Virgo. Detection searches operate by matched-filtering the detector data using a bank of waveform templates. Traditionally, template banks for BBH are constructed from intermediary analytical waveform models which are calibrated against numerical relativity simulations and which can be aluated for any choice of BBH parameters. This paper explores an alternative to the traditional approach, namely the construction of template banks directly from numerical BBH simulations. Using non-spinning BBH systems as an example, we demonstrate which regions of the mass-parameter plane can be covered with existing numerical BBH waveforms. We estimate the required number and required length of BBH simulations to cover the entire non-spinning BBH parameter plane up to mass-ratio 10, thus illustrating that our approach can be used to guide parameter placement of future numerical simulations. We derive error bounds which are independent of analytical waveform models; therefore, our formalism can be used to independently test the accuracy of such waveform models. The resulting template banks are suitable for advanced LIGO searches.
- Sep 17 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1309.3605v1We extract gravitational waveforms from numerical simulations of black hole binaries computed using the Spectral Einstein Code. We compare two extraction methods: direct construction of the Newman-Penrose (NP) scalar $\Psi_4$ at a finite distance from the source and Cauchy-characteristic extraction (CCE). The direct NP approach is simpler than CCE, but NP waveforms can be contaminated by near-zone effects---unless the waves are extracted at several distances from the source and extrapolated to infinity. Even then, the resulting waveforms can in principle be contaminated by gauge effects. In contrast, CCE directly provides, by construction, gauge-invariant waveforms at future null infinity. We verify the gauge invariance of CCE by running the same physical simulation using two different gauge conditions. We find that these two gauge conditions produce the same CCE waveforms but show differences in extrapolated-$\Psi_4$ waveforms. We examine data from several different binary configurations and measure the dominant sources of error in the extrapolated-$\Psi_4$ and CCE waveforms. In some cases, we find that NP waveforms extrapolated to infinity agree with the corresponding CCE waveforms to within the estimated error bars. However, we find that in other cases extrapolated and CCE waveforms disagree, most notably for $m=0$ "memory" modes.
- Sep 04 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1309.0544v3We compute the periastron advance using the effective-one-body formalism for binary black holes moving on quasi-circular orbits and having spins collinear with the orbital angular momentum. We compare the predictions with the periastron advance recently computed in accurate numerical-relativity simulations and find remarkable agreement for a wide range of spins and mass ratios. These results do not use any numerical-relativity calibration of the effective-one-body model, and stem from two key ingredients in the effective-one-body Hamiltonian: (i) the mapping of the two-body dynamics of spinning particles onto the dynamics of an effective spinning particle in a (deformed) Kerr spacetime, fully symmetrized with respect to the two-body masses and spins, and (ii) the resummation, in the test-particle limit, of all post-Newtonian (PN) corrections linear in the spin of the particle. In fact, even when only the leading spin PN corrections are included in the effective-one-body spinning Hamiltonian but all the test-particle corrections linear in the spin of the particle are resummed we find very good agreement with the numerical results (within the numerical error for equal-mass binaries and discrepancies of at most 1% for larger mass ratios). Furthermore, we specialize to the extreme mass-ratio limit and derive, using the equations of motion in the gravitational skeleton approach, analytical expressions for the periastron advance, the meridional Lense-Thirring precession and spin precession frequency in the case of a spinning particle on a nearly circular equatorial orbit in Kerr spacetime, including also terms quadratic in the spin.
- Sep 04 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1309.0541v2We study the general relativistic periastron advance in spinning black hole binaries on quasi-circular orbits, with spins aligned or anti-aligned with the orbital angular momentum, using numerical-relativity simulations, the post-Newtonian approximation, and black hole perturbation theory. By imposing a symmetry by exchange of the bodies' labels, we devise an improved version of the perturbative result, and use it as the leading term of a new type of expansion in powers of the symmetric mass ratio. This allows us to measure, for the first time, the gravitational self-force effect on the periastron advance of a non-spinning particle orbiting a Kerr black hole of mass M and spin S = -0.5 M^2, down to separations of order 9M. Comparing the predictions of our improved perturbative expansion with the exact results from numerical simulations of equal-mass and equal-spin binaries, we find a remarkable agreement over a wide range of spins and orbital separations.
- Jul 30 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1307.7685v1We present the first direct comparison of numerical simulations of neutron star-black hole and black hole-black hole mergers in full general relativity. We focus on a configuration with non spinning objects and within the most likely range of mass ratio for neutron star-black hole systems (q=6). In this region of the parameter space, the neutron star is not tidally disrupted prior to merger, and we show that the two types of mergers appear remarkably similar. The effect of the presence of a neutron star on the gravitational wave signal is not only undetectable by the next generation of gravitational wave detectors, but also too small to be measured in the numerical simulations: even the plunge, merger and ringdown signals appear in perfect agreement for both types of binaries. The characteristics of the post-merger remnants are equally similar, with the masses of the final black holes agreeing within dM< 5 10^-4M_BH and their spins within da< 10^-3M_BH. The rate of periastron advance in the mixed binary agrees with previously published binary black hole results, and we use the inspiral waveforms to place constraints on the accuracy of our numerical simulations independent of algorithmic choices made for each type of binary. Overall, our results indicate that non-disrupting neutron star-black hole mergers are exceptionally well modeled by black hole-black hole mergers, and that given the absence of mass ejection, accretion disk formation, or differences in the gravitational wave signals, only electromagnetic precursors could prove the presence of a neutron star in low-spin systems of total mass ~10Msun, at least until the advent of gravitational wave detectors with a sensitivity comparable to that of the proposed Einstein Telescope.
- Jul 24 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1307.6232v1We describe a general procedure to generate spinning, precessing waveforms that include inspiral, merger and ringdown stages in the effective-one-body (EOB) approach. The procedure uses a precessing frame in which precession-induced amplitude and phase modulations are minimized, and an inertial frame, aligned with the spin of the final black hole, in which we carry out the matching of the inspiral-plunge to merger-ringdown waveforms. As a first application, we build spinning, precessing EOB waveforms for the gravitational modes l=2 such that in the nonprecessing limit those waveforms agree with the EOB waveforms recently calibrated to numerical-relativity waveforms. Without recalibrating the EOB model, we then compare EOB and post-Newtonian precessing waveforms to two numerical-relativity waveforms produced by the Caltech-Cornell-CITA collaboration. The numerical waveforms are strongly precessing and have 35 and 65 gravitational-wave cycles. We find a remarkable agreement between EOB and numerical-relativity precessing waveforms and spins' evolutions. The phase difference is ~ 0.2 rad at merger, while the mismatches, computed using the advanced-LIGO noise spectral density, are below 2% when maximizing only on the time and phase at coalescence and on the polarization angle.
- 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.
- May 28 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1305.5991v2The behavior of merging black holes (including the emitted gravitational waves and the properties of the remnant) can currently be computed only by numerical simulations. This paper introduces ten numerical relativity simulations of binary black holes with equal masses and equal spins aligned or anti-aligned with the orbital angular momentum. The initial spin magnitudes have $|\chi_i| \lesssim 0.95$ and are more concentrated in the aligned direction because of the greater astrophysical interest of this case. We combine this data with five previously reported simulations of the same configuration, but with different spin magnitudes, including the highest spin simulated to date, $\chi_i \approx 0.97$. This data set is sufficiently accurate to enable us to offer improved analytic fitting formulae for the final spin and for the energy radiated by gravitational waves as a function of initial spin. The improved fitting formulae can help to improve our understanding of the properties of binary black hole merger remnants and can be used to enhance future approximate waveforms for gravitational wave searches, such as Effective-One-Body waveforms.
- Apr 23 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1304.6077v3This paper presents a publicly available catalog of 174 numerical binary black-hole simulations following up to 35 orbits. The catalog includes 91 precessing binaries, mass ratios up to 8:1, orbital eccentricities from a few percent to $10^{-5}$, black-hole spins up to 98% of the theoretical maximum, and radiated energies up to 11.1% of the initial mass. We establish remarkably good agreement with post-Newtonian precession of orbital and spin directions for two new precessing simulations, and we discuss other applications of this catalog. Formidable challenges remain: e.g., precession complicates the connection of numerical and approximate analytical waveforms, and vast regions of the parameter space remain unexplored.
- Apr 12 2013 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1304.3384v3Neutrino emission significantly affects the evolution of the accretion tori formed in black hole-neutron star mergers. It removes energy from the disk, alters its composition, and provides a potential power source for a gamma-ray burst. To study these effects, simulations in general relativity with a hot microphysical equation of state and neutrino feedback are needed. We present the first such simulation, using a neutrino leakage scheme for cooling to capture the most essential effects and considering a moderate mass (1.4 M_⊙ neutron star, 5.6 M_⊙ black hole), high spin (black hole J/M^2=0.9) system with the K_0=220 MeV Lattimer-Swesty equation of state. We find that about 0.08 M_⊙ of nuclear matter is ejected from the system, while another 0.3 M_⊙ forms a hot, compact accretion disk. The primary effects of the escaping neutrinos are (i) to make the disk much denser and more compact, (ii) to cause the average electron fraction Y_e of the disk to rise to about 0.2 and then gradually decrease again, and (iii) to gradually cool the disk. The disk is initially hot (T~6 MeV) and luminous in neutrinos (L_\nu~10^54 erg s^-1), but the neutrino luminosity decreases by an order of magnitude over 50 ms of post-merger evolution.
- Apr 11 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1304.3067v1Binary black hole simulations with black hole excision using spectral methods require a coordinate transformation into a co-rotating coordinate system where the black holes are essentially at rest. This paper presents and discusses two coordinate transformations that are applicable to precessing binary systems, one based on Euler angles, the other on quaternions. Both approaches are found to work well for binaries with moderate precession, i.e. for cases where the orientation of the orbital plane changes by much less than 90 degrees. For strong precession, performance of the Euler-angle parameterization deteriorates, eventually failing for a 90 degree change in orientation because of singularities in the parameterization ("gimbal lock"). In contrast, the quaternion representation is invariant under an overall rotation, and handles any orientation of the orbital plane as well as the Euler-angle technique handles non-precessing binaries.
- Feb 27 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1302.6297v2Black hole-neutron star (BHNS) binaries are important sources of gravitational waves for second-generation interferometers, and BHNS mergers are also a proposed engine for short, hard gamma-ray bursts. The behavior of both the spacetime (and thus the emitted gravitational waves) and the neutron star matter in a BHNS merger depend strongly and nonlinearly on the black hole's spin. While there is a significant possibility that astrophysical black holes could have spins that are nearly extremal (i.e. near the theoretical maximum), to date fully relativistic simulations of BHNS binaries have included black-hole spins only up to $S/M^2$=0.9, which corresponds to the black hole having approximately half as much rotational energy as possible, given the black hole's mass. In this paper, we present a new simulation of a BHNS binary with a mass ratio $q=3$ and black-hole spin $S/M^2$=0.97, the highest simulated to date. We find that the black hole's large spin leads to the most massive accretion disk and the largest tidal tail outflow of any fully relativistic BHNS simulations to date, even exceeding the results implied by extrapolating results from simulations with lower black-hole spin. The disk appears to be remarkably stable. We also find that the high black-hole spin persists until shortly before the time of merger; afterwards, both merger and accretion spin down the black hole.
- Dec 20 2012 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1212.4810v2Black hole-neutron star mergers resulting in the disruption of the neutron star and the formation of an accretion disk and/or the ejection of unbound material are prime candidates for the joint detection of gravitational-wave and electromagnetic signals when the next generation of gravitational-wave detectors comes online. However, the disruption of the neutron star and the properties of the post-merger remnant are very sensitive to the parameters of the binary. In this paper, we study the impact of the radius of the neutron star and the alignment of the black hole spin for systems within the range of mass ratio currently deemed most likely for field binaries (M_BH ~ 7 M_NS) and for black hole spins large enough for the neutron star to disrupt (J/M^2=0.9). We find that: (i) In this regime, the merger is particularly sensitive to the radius of the neutron star, with remnant masses varying from 0.3M_NS to 0.1M_NS for changes of only 2 km in the NS radius; (ii) 0.01-0.05M_sun of unbound material can be ejected with kinetic energy >10^51 ergs, a significant increase compared to low mass ratio, low spin binaries. This ejecta could power detectable optical and radio afterglows. (iii) Only a small fraction (<3%) of the Advanced LIGO events in this parameter range have gravitational-wave signals which could offer constraints on the equation of state of the neutron star. (iv) A misaligned black hole spin works against disk formation, with less neutron star material remaining outside of the black hole after merger, and a larger fraction of that material remaining in the tidal tail instead of the forming accretion disk. (v) Large kicks (v>300 km/s) can be given to the final black hole as a result of a precessing BHNS merger, when the disruption of the neutron star occurs just outside or within the innermost stable spherical orbit.
- Nov 27 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1211.6079v2Simulations of binary black hole systems using the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC) are done on a computational domain that excises the regions inside the black holes. It is imperative that the excision boundaries are outflow boundaries with respect to the hyperbolic evolution equations used in the simulation. We employ a time-dependent mapping between the fixed computational frame and the inertial frame through which the black holes move. The time-dependent parameters of the mapping are adjusted throughout the simulation by a feedback control system in order to follow the motion of the black holes, to adjust the shape and size of the excision surfaces so that they remain outflow boundaries, and to prevent large distortions of the grid. We describe in detail the mappings and control systems that we use. We show how these techniques have been essential in the evolution of binary black hole systems with extreme configurations, such as large spin magnitudes and high mass ratios, especially during the merger, when apparent horizons are highly distorted and the computational domain becomes compressed. The techniques introduced here may be useful in other applications of partial differential equations that involve time-dependent mappings.
- Oct 11 2012 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1210.3007v2This article studies sufficient accuracy criteria of hybrid post-Newtonian (PN) and numerical relativity (NR) waveforms for parameter estimation of strong binary black-hole sources in second- generation ground-based gravitational-wave detectors. We investigate equal-mass non-spinning binaries with a new 33-orbit NR waveform, as well as unequal-mass binaries with mass ratios 2, 3, 4 and 6. For equal masses, the 33-orbit NR waveform allows us to recover previous results and to extend the analysis toward matching at lower frequencies. For unequal masses, the errors between different PN approximants increase with mass ratio. Thus, at 3.5PN, hybrids for higher-mass-ratio systems would require NR waveforms with many more gravitational-wave (GW) cycles to guarantee no adverse impact on parameter estimation. Furthermore, we investigate the potential improvement in hybrid waveforms that can be expected from 4th order post-Newtonian waveforms, and find that knowledge of this 4th post-Newtonian order would significantly improve the accuracy of hybrid waveforms.
- Jun 15 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1206.2943v3Initial data for numerical evolutions of binary-black holes have been dominated by "conformally flat" (CF) data (i.e., initial data where the conformal background metric is chosen to be flat) because they are easy to construct. However, CF initial data cannot simulate nearly extremal spins, while more complicated "conformally curved" initial data (i.e., initial data in which the background metric is \emphnot explicitly chosen to be flat), such as initial data where the spatial metric is chosen to be proportional to a weighted superposition of two Kerr-Schild (SKS) black holes can. Here we establish the consistency between the astrophysical results of these two initial data schemes for nonspinning binary systems. We evolve the inspiral, merger, and ringdown of two equal-mass, nonspinning black holes using SKS initial data and compare with an analogous simulation using CF initial data. We find that the resultant gravitational-waveform phases agree to within $\delta \phi \lesssim 10^{-2}$ radians and the amplitudes agree to within $\delta A/A \lesssim 5 \times 10^{-3}$, which are within the numerical errors of the simulations. Furthermore, we find that the final mass and spin of the remnant black hole agree to one part in $10^5
- Jan 26 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1201.5319v1The Numerical INJection Analysis (NINJA) project is a collaborative effort between members of the numerical relativity and gravitational wave data analysis communities. The purpose of NINJA is to study the sensitivity of existing gravitational-wave search and parameter-estimation algorithms using numerically generated waveforms, and to foster closer collaboration between the numerical relativity and data analysis communities. The first NINJA project used only a small number of injections of short numerical-relativity waveforms, which limited its ability to draw quantitative conclusions. The goal of the NINJA-2 project is to overcome these limitations with long post-Newtonian - numerical relativity hybrid waveforms, large numbers of injections, and the use of real detector data. We report on the submission requirements for the NINJA-2 project and the construction of the waveform catalog. Eight numerical relativity groups have contributed 63 hybrid waveforms consisting of a numerical portion modelling the late inspiral, merger, and ringdown stitched to a post-Newtonian portion modelling the early inspiral. We summarize the techniques used by each group in constructing their submissions. We also report on the procedures used to validate these submissions, including examination in the time and frequency domains and comparisons of waveforms from different groups against each other. These procedures have so far considered only the $(\ell,m)=(2,2)$ mode. Based on these studies we judge that the hybrid waveforms are suitable for NINJA-2 studies. We note some of the plans for these investigations.
- Nov 08 2011 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1111.1677v2General relativistic simulations of black hole-neutron star mergers have currently been limited to low-mass black holes (less than 7 solar mass), even though population synthesis models indicate that a majority of mergers might involve more massive black holes (10 solar mass or more). We present the first general relativistic simulations of black hole-neutron star mergers with 10 solar mass black holes. For massive black holes, the tidal forces acting on the neutron star are usually too weak to disrupt the star before it reaches the innermost stable circular orbit of the black hole. Varying the spin of the black hole in the range a/M = 0.5-0.9, we find that mergers result in the disruption of the star and the formation of a massive accretion disk only for large spins a/M>0.7-0.9. From these results, we obtain updated constraints on the ability of BHNS mergers to be the progenitors of short gamma-ray bursts as a function of the mass and spin of the black hole. We also discuss the dependence of the gravitational wave signal on the black hole parameters, and provide waveforms and spectra from simulations beginning 7-8 orbits before merger.
- Jun 07 2011 gr-qc arXiv:1106.1021v2We calibrate an effective-one-body (EOB) model to numerical-relativity simulations of mass ratios 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, by maximizing phase and amplitude agreement of the leading (2,2) mode and of the subleading modes (2,1), (3,3), (4,4) and (5,5). Aligning the calibrated EOB waveforms and the numerical waveforms at low frequency, the phase difference of the (2,2) mode between model and numerical simulation remains below 0.1 rad throughout the evolution for all mass ratios considered. The fractional amplitude difference at peak amplitude of the (2,2) mode is 2% and grows to 12% during the ringdown. Using the Advanced LIGO noise curve we study the effectualness and measurement accuracy of the EOB model, and stress the relevance of modeling the higher-order modes for parameter estimation. We find that the effectualness, measured by the mismatch, between the EOB and numerical-relativity polarizations which include only the (2,2) mode is smaller than 0.2% for binaries with total mass 20-200 Msun and mass ratios 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. When numerical-relativity polarizations contain the strongest seven modes, and stellar-mass black holes with masses less than 50Msun are considered, the mismatch for mass ratio 6 (1) can be as high as 5% (0.2%) when only the EOB (2,2) mode is included, and an upper bound of the mismatch is 0.5% (0.07%) when all the four subleading EOB modes calibrated in this paper are taken into account. For binaries with intermediate-mass black holes with masses greater than 50Msun the mismatches are larger. We also determine for which signal-to-noise ratios the EOB model developed here can be used to measure binary parameters with systematic biases smaller than statistical errors due to detector noise.
- Dec 08 2010 gr-qc arXiv:1012.1549v2Building initial conditions for generic binary black-hole evolutions without initial spurious eccentricity remains a challenge for numerical-relativity simulations. This problem can be overcome by applying an eccentricity-removal procedure which consists in evolving the binary for a couple of orbits, estimating the eccentricity, and then correcting the initial conditions. The presence of spins can complicate this procedure. As predicted by post-Newtonian theory, spin-spin interactions and precession prevent the binary from moving along an adiabatic sequence of spherical orbits, inducing oscillations in the radial separation and in the orbital frequency. However, spin-induced oscillations occur at approximately twice the orbital frequency, therefore they can be distinguished from the initial spurious eccentricity, which occurs at approximately the orbital frequency. We develop a new removal procedure based on the derivative of the orbital frequency and find that it is successful in reducing the eccentricity measured in the orbital frequency to less than 0.0001 when moderate spins are present. We test this new procedure using numerical-relativity simulations of binary black holes with mass ratios 1.5 and 3, spin magnitude 0.5 and various spin orientations. The numerical simulations exhibit spin-induced oscillations in the dynamics at approximately twice the orbital frequency. Oscillations of similar frequency are also visible in the gravitational-wave phase and frequency of the dominant mode.
- Jul 26 2010 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1007.4203v2The spin of black holes in black hole-neutron star (BHNS) binaries can have a strong influence on the merger dynamics and the postmerger state; a wide variety of spin magnitudes and orientations are expected to occur in nature. In this paper, we report the first simulations in full general relativity of BHNS mergers with misaligned black hole spin. We vary the spin magnitude from a/m=0 to a/m=0.9 for aligned cases, and we vary the misalignment angle from 0 to 80 degrees for a/m=0.5. We restrict our study to 3:1 mass ratio systems and use a simple Gamma-law equation of state. We find that the misalignment angle has a strong effect on the mass of the postmerger accretion disk, but only for angles greater than ~ 40 degrees. Although the disk mass varies significantly with spin magnitude and misalignment angle, we find that all disks have very similar lifetimes ~ 100ms. Their thermal and rotational profiles are also very similar. For a misaligned merger, the disk is tilted with respect to the final black hole's spin axis. This will cause the disk to precess, but on a timescale longer than the accretion time. In all cases, we find promising setups for gamma-ray burst production: the disks are hot, thick, and hyperaccreting, and a baryon-clear region exists above the black hole.
- May 18 2010 gr-qc arXiv:1005.2922v1Current spectral simulations of Einstein's equations require writing the equations in first-order form, potentially introducing instabilities and inefficiencies. We present a new penalty method for pseudo-spectral evolutions of second order in space wave equations. The penalties are constructed as functions of Legendre polynomials and are added to the equations of motion everywhere, not only on the boundaries. Using energy methods, we prove semi-discrete stability of the new method for the scalar wave equation in flat space and show how it can be applied to the scalar wave on a curved background. Numerical results demonstrating stability and convergence for multi-domain second-order scalar wave evolutions are also presented. This work provides a foundation for treating Einstein's equations directly in second-order form by spectral methods.
- Apr 28 2010 gr-qc arXiv:1004.4697v1We compare different methods of computing the orbital eccentricity of quasi-circular binary black hole systems using the orbital variables and gravitational wave phase and frequency. For eccentricities of about a per cent, most methods work satisfactorily. For small eccentricity, however, the gravitational wave phase allows a particularly clean and reliable measurement of the eccentricity. Furthermore, we measure the decay of the orbital eccentricity during the inspiral and find reasonable agreement with post-Newtonian results. Finally, we measure the periastron advance of non-spinning binary black holes, and we compare them to post-Newtonian approximations. With the low uncertainty in the measurement of the periastron advance, we positively detect deviations between fully numerical simulations and post-Newtonian calculations.
- Apr 07 2010 gr-qc arXiv:1004.0760v1We present the numerical implementation of a clean solution to the outer boundary and radiation extraction problems within the 3+1 formalism for hyperbolic partial differential equations on a given background. Our approach is based on compactification at null infinity in hyperboloidal scri fixing coordinates. We report numerical tests for the particular example of a scalar wave equation on Minkowski and Schwarzschild backgrounds. We address issues related to the implementation of the hyperboloidal approach for the Einstein equations, such as nonlinear source functions, matching, and evaluation of formally singular terms at null infinity.
- Dec 19 2009 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:0912.3528v1The merger dynamics of a black hole-neutron star (BHNS) binary is influenced by the neutron star equation of state (EoS) through the latter's effect on the neutron star's radius and on the character of the mass transfer onto the black hole. We study these effects by simulating a number of BHNS binaries in full general relativity using a mixed pseudospectral/finite difference code. We consider several models of the neutron star matter EoS, including Gamma=2 and Gamma=2.75 polytropes and the nuclear-theory based Shen EoS. For models using the Shen EoS, we consider two limits for the evolution of the composition: source-free advection and instantaneous beta-equilibrium. To focus on EoS effects, we fix the mass ratio to 3:1 and the initial aligned black hole spin to a/m=0.5 for all models. We confirm earlier studies which found that more compact stars create a stronger gravitational wave signal but a smaller postmerger accretion disk. We also vary the EoS while holding the compaction fixed. All mergers are qualitatively similar, but we find signatures of the EoS in the waveform and in the tail and disk structures.
- Dec 18 2009 gr-qc arXiv:0912.3466v2We present the first attempt at calibrating the effective-one-body (EOB) model to accurate numerical-relativity simulations of spinning, non-precessing black-hole binaries. Aligning the EOB and numerical waveforms at low frequency over a time interval of 1000M, we first estimate the phase and amplitude errors in the numerical waveforms and then minimize the difference between numerical and EOB waveforms by calibrating a handful of EOB-adjustable parameters. In the equal-mass, spin aligned case, we find that phase and fractional amplitude differences between the numerical and EOB (2,2) mode can be reduced to 0.01 radians and 1%, respectively, over the entire inspiral waveforms. In the equal-mass, spin anti-aligned case, these differences can be reduced to 0.13 radians and 1% during inspiral and plunge, and to 0.4 radians and 10% during merger and ringdown. The waveform agreement is within numerical errors in the spin aligned case while slightly over numerical errors in the spin anti-aligned case. Using Enhanced LIGO and Advanced LIGO noise curves, we find that the overlap between the EOB and the numerical (2,2) mode, maximized over the initial phase and time of arrival, is larger than 0.999 for binaries with total mass 30-200Ms. In addition to the leading (2,2) mode, we compare four subleading modes. We find good amplitude and frequency agreements between the EOB and numerical modes for both spin configurations considered, except for the (3,2) mode in the spin anti-aligned case. We believe that the larger difference in the (3,2) mode is due to the lack of knowledge of post-Newtonian spin effects in the higher modes.
- May 27 2009 gr-qc arXiv:0905.4227v1The 2008 NRDA conference introduced the Numerical INJection Analysis project (NINJA), a new collaborative effort between the numerical relativity community and the data analysis community. NINJA focuses on modeling and searching for gravitational wave signatures from the coalescence of binary system of compact objects. We review the scope of this collaboration and the components of the first NINJA project, where numerical relativity groups shared waveforms and data analysis teams applied various techniques to detect them when embedded in colored Gaussian noise.
- Apr 06 2009 gr-qc arXiv:0904.0493v1We present numerical simulations of orbiting black holes for around twelve cycles, using a high-order multipatch approach. Unlike some other approaches, the computational speed scales almost perfectly for thousands of processors. Multipatch methods are an alternative to AMR (adaptive mesh refinement), with benefits of simplicity and better scaling for improving the resolution in the wave zone. The results presented here pave the way for multipatch evolutions of black hole-neutron star and neutron star-neutron star binaries, where high resolution grids are needed to resolve details of the matter flow.
- Feb 05 2009 gr-qc arXiv:0902.0790v2We calibrate the effective-one-body (EOB) model to an accurate numerical simulation of an equal-mass, non-spinning binary black-hole coalescence produced by the Caltech-Cornell collaboration. Aligning the EOB and numerical waveforms at low frequency over a time interval of ~1000M, and taking into account the uncertainties in the numerical simulation, we investigate the significance and degeneracy of the EOB adjustable parameters during inspiral, plunge and merger, and determine the minimum number of EOB adjustable parameters that achieves phase and amplitude agreements on the order of the numerical error. We find that phase and fractional amplitude differences between the numerical and EOB values of the dominant gravitational wave mode h_22 can be reduced to 0.02 radians and 2%, respectively, until a time 26 M before merger, and to 0.1 radians and 10%, at a time 16M after merger (during ringdown), respectively. Using LIGO, Enhanced LIGO and Advanced LIGO noise curves, we find that the overlap between the EOB and the numerical h_22, maximized only over the initial phase and time of arrival, is larger than 0.999 for equal-mass binary black holes with total mass 30-150 Msun. In addition to the leading gravitational mode (2,2), we compare the dominant subleading modes (4,4) and (3,2) and find phase and amplitude differences on the order of the numerical error. We also determine the mass-ratio dependence of one of the EOB adjustable parameters by fitting to numerical \it inspiral waveforms for black-hole binaries with mass ratios 2:1 and 3:1. These results improve and extend recent successful attempts aimed at providing gravitational-wave data analysts the best analytical EOB model capable of interpolating accurate numerical simulations.
- Jan 29 2009 gr-qc arXiv:0901.4399v2The Numerical INJection Analysis (NINJA) project is a collaborative effort between members of the numerical relativity and gravitational-wave data analysis communities. The purpose of NINJA is to study the sensitivity of existing gravitational-wave search algorithms using numerically generated waveforms and to foster closer collaboration between the numerical relativity and data analysis communities. We describe the results of the first NINJA analysis which focused on gravitational waveforms from binary black hole coalescence. Ten numerical relativity groups contributed numerical data which were used to generate a set of gravitational-wave signals. These signals were injected into a simulated data set, designed to mimic the response of the Initial LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave detectors. Nine groups analysed this data using search and parameter-estimation pipelines. Matched filter algorithms, un-modelled-burst searches and Bayesian parameter-estimation and model-selection algorithms were applied to the data. We report the efficiency of these search methods in detecting the numerical waveforms and measuring their parameters. We describe preliminary comparisons between the different search methods and suggest improvements for future NINJA analyses.
- Jan 19 2009 gr-qc arXiv:0901.2437v3We quantify the consistency of numerical-relativity black-hole-binary waveforms for use in gravitational-wave (GW) searches with current and planned ground-based detectors. We compare previously published results for the $(\ell=2,| m | =2)$ mode of the gravitational waves from an equal-mass nonspinning binary, calculated by five numerical codes. We focus on the 1000M (about six orbits, or 12 GW cycles) before the peak of the GW amplitude and the subsequent ringdown. We find that the phase and amplitude agree within each code's uncertainty estimates. The mismatch between the $(\ell=2,| m| =2)$ modes is better than $10^{-3}$ for binary masses above $60 M_{\odot}$ with respect to the Enhanced LIGO detector noise curve, and for masses above $180 M_{\odot}$ with respect to Advanced LIGO, Virgo and Advanced Virgo. Between the waveforms with the best agreement, the mismatch is below $2 \times 10^{-4}$. We find that the waveforms would be indistinguishable in all ground-based detectors (and for the masses we consider) if detected with a signal-to-noise ratio of less than $\approx14$, or less than $\approx25$ in the best cases.
- We compute the flux of linear momentum carried by gravitational waves emitted from spinning binary black holes at 2PN order for generic orbits. In particular we provide explicit expressions of three new types of terms, namely next-to-leading order spin-orbit terms at 1.5 PN order, spin-orbit tail terms at 2PN order, and spin-spin terms at 2PN order. Restricting ourselves to quasi-circular orbits, we integrate the linear momentum flux over time to obtain the recoil velocity as function of orbital frequency. We find that in the so-called superkick configuration the higher-order spin corrections can increase the recoil velocity up to about a factor 3 with respect to the leading-order PN prediction. Furthermore, we provide expressions valid for generic orbits, and accurate at 2PN order, for the energy and angular momentum carried by gravitational waves emitted from spinning binary black holes. Specializing to quasi-circular orbits we compute the spin-spin terms at 2PN order in the expression for the evolution of the orbital frequency and found agreement with Mikóczi, Vasúth and Gergely. We also verified that in the limit of extreme mass ratio our expressions for the energy and angular momentum fluxes match the ones of Tagoshi, Shibata, Tanaka and Sasaki obtained in the context of black hole perturbation theory.
- Oct 11 2008 gr-qc arXiv:0810.1767v2The first spectral numerical simulations of 16 orbits, merger, and ringdown of an equal-mass non-spinning binary black hole system are presented. Gravitational waveforms from these simulations have accumulated numerical phase errors through ringdown of ~0.1 radian when measured from the beginning of the simulation, and ~0.02 radian when waveforms are time and phase shifted to agree at the peak amplitude. The waveform seen by an observer at infinity is determined from waveforms computed at finite radii by an extrapolation process accurate to ~0.01 radian in phase. The phase difference between this waveform at infinity and the waveform measured at a finite radius of r=100M is about half a radian. The ratio of final mass to initial mass is M_f/M = 0.95162 +- 0.00002, and the final black hole spin is S_f/M_f^2=0.68646 +- 0.00004.
- We present a code for solving the coupled Einstein-hydrodynamics equations to evolve relativistic, self-gravitating fluids. The Einstein field equations are solved in generalized harmonic coordinates on one grid using pseudospectral methods, while the fluids are evolved on another grid using shock-capturing finite difference or finite volume techniques. We show that the code accurately evolves equilibrium stars and accretion flows. Then we simulate an equal-mass nonspinning black hole-neutron star binary, evolving through the final four orbits of inspiral, through the merger, to the final stationary black hole. The gravitational waveform can be reliably extracted from the simulation.