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Journal Article

Accretion-induced quasinormal mode excitation of a Schwarzschild black hole


Rezzolla,  Luciano
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Nagar, A., Zanotti, O., Font, J. A., & Rezzolla, L. (2007). Accretion-induced quasinormal mode excitation of a Schwarzschild black hole. Physical Review D, 75: 044016. Retrieved from http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRD/v75/e044016.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-49D2-9
By combining the numerical solution of the nonlinear hydrodynamics equations with the solution of the linear inhomogeneous Zerilli-Moncrief and Regge-Wheeler equations, we investigate the properties of the gravitational radiation emitted during the axisymmetric accretion of matter onto a Schwarzschild black hole. The matter models considered include quadrupolar dust shells and thick accretion disks, permitting us to simulate situations which may be encountered at the end stages of stellar gravitational collapse or binary neutron star merger. We focus on the interference pattern appearing in the energy spectra of the emitted gravitational waves and on the amount of excitation of the quasinormal modes of the accreting black hole. We show that, quite generically in the presence of accretion, the black-hole ringdown is not a simple superposition of quasinormal modes, although the fundamental mode is usually present and often dominates the gravitational-wave signal. We interpret this as due to backscattering of waves off the nonexponentially decaying part of the black-hole potential and to the finite spatial extension of the accreting matter. Our results suggest that the black-hole QNM contributions to the full gravitational-wave signal should be extremely small and possibly not detectable in generic astrophysical scenarios involving the accretion of extended distributions of matter.