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  Eccentric binary black-hole mergers: The transition from inspiral to plunge in general relativity

Sperhake, U., Berti, E., Cardoso, V., Gonzalez, J. A., Brügmann, B., & Ansorg, M. (2008). Eccentric binary black-hole mergers: The transition from inspiral to plunge in general relativity. Physical Review D, 78(6): 064069. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.78.064069.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-13B2-2 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-13B3-F
Genre: Journal Article

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Sperhake, Ulrich1, Author
Berti, Emanuele1, Author
Cardoso, Vitor1, Author
Gonzalez, Jose A.1, Author
Brügmann, Bernd1, Author
Ansorg, Marcus2, Author
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1External Organizations, ou_persistent22              
2Geometric Analysis and Gravitation, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, Golm, DE, ou_24012              

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 Abstract: We study the transition from inspiral to plunge in general relativity by computing gravitational waveforms of nonspinning, equal-mass black-hole binaries. We consider three sequences of simulations, starting with a quasicircular inspiral completing 1.5, 2.3 and 9.6 orbits, respectively, prior to coalescence of the holes. For each sequence, the binding energy of the system is kept constant and the orbital angular momentum is progressively reduced, producing orbits of increasing eccentricity and eventually a head-on collision. We analyze in detail the radiation of energy and angular momentum in gravitational waves, the contribution of different multipolar components and the final spin of the remnant, comparing numerical predictions with the post-Newtonian approximation and with extrapolations of point-particle results. We find that the motion transitions from inspiral to plunge when the orbital angular momentum L=Lcrit~=0.8M2. For L<Lcrit the radiated energy drops very rapidly. Orbits with L~=Lcrit produce our largest dimensionless Kerr parameter for the remnant, j=J/M2~=0.724±0.13 (to be compared with the Kerr parameter j~=0.69 resulting from quasicircular inspirals). This value is in good agreement with the value of 0.72 reported in [I. Hinder, B. Vaishnav, F. Herrmann, D. Shoemaker, and P. Laguna, Phys. Rev. D 77, 081502 (2008).]. These conclusions are quite insensitive to the initial separation of the holes, and they can be understood by extrapolating point-particle results. Generalizing a model recently proposed by Buonanno, Kidder and Lehner [A. Buonanno, L. E. Kidder, and L. Lehner, Phys. Rev. D 77, 026004 (2008).] to eccentric binaries, we conjecture that (1) j~=0.724 is close to the maximal Kerr parameter that can be obtained by any merger of nonspinning holes, and (2) no binary merger (even if the binary members are extremal Kerr black holes with spins aligned to the orbital angular momentum, and the inspiral is highly eccentric) can violate the cosmic censorship conjecture.

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 Dates: 2008-09-29
 Publication Status: Published online
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Title: Physical Review D
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 78 (6) Sequence Number: 064069 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1089-4918