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#### Forced motion near black holes

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1012.5111

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PRD83_044037.pdf

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##### Citation

Gair, J. R., Flanagan, E. E., Drasco, S., Hinderer, T., & Babak, S. (2011). Forced
motion near black holes.* Physical Review D,* *83*(4): 044037.
doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.83.044037.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-1052-8

##### Abstract

We present two methods for integrating forced geodesic equations in the Kerr
spacetime, which can accommodate arbitrary forces. As a test case, we compute
inspirals under a simple drag force, mimicking the presence of gas. We verify
that both methods give the same results for this simple force. We find that
drag generally causes eccentricity to increase throughout the inspiral. This is
a relativistic effect qualitatively opposite to what is seen in
gravitational-radiation-driven inspirals, and similar to what is observed in
hydrodynamic simulations of gaseous binaries. We provide an analytic
explanation by deriving the leading order relativistic correction to the
Newtonian dynamics. If observed, an increasing eccentricity would provide clear
evidence that the inspiral was occurring in a non-vacuum environment. Our two
methods are especially useful for evolving orbits in the adiabatic regime. Both
use the method of osculating orbits, in which each point on the orbit is
characterized by the parameters of the geodesic with the same instantaneous
position and velocity. Both methods describe the orbit in terms of the geodesic
energy, axial angular momentum, Carter constant, azimuthal phase, and two
angular variables that increase monotonically and are relativistic
generalizations of the eccentric anomaly. The two methods differ in their
treatment of the orbital phases and the representation of the force. In one
method the geodesic phase and phase constant are evolved together as a single
orbital phase parameter, and the force is expressed in terms of its components
on the Kinnersley orthonormal tetrad. In the second method, the phase constants
of the geodesic motion are evolved separately and the force is expressed in
terms of its Boyer-Lindquist components. This second approach is a
generalization of earlier work by Pound and Poisson for planar forces in a
Schwarzschild background.