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Journal Article

Inspiral, merger and ring-down of equal-mass black-hole binaries


Buonanno,  Alessandra
Department of Physics, University of Maryland;
Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Buonanno, A., Cook, G. B., & Pretorius, F. (2007). Inspiral, merger and ring-down of equal-mass black-hole binaries. Physical Review D, 75: 124018. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.75.124018.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0018-D77D-8
We investigate the dynamics and gravitational-wave (GW) emission in the binary merger of equal-mass black holes as obtained from numerical relativity simulations. Results from the evolution of three sets of initial data are explored in detail, corresponding to different initial separations of the black holes. We find that to a good approximation the inspiral phase of the evolution is quasi-circular, followed by a "blurred, quasi-circular plunge", then merger and ring down. We present first-order comparisons between analytical models of the various stages of the merger and the numerical results. We provide comparisons between the numerical results and analytical predictions based on the adiabatic Newtonain, post-Newtonian (PN), and non-adiabatic resummed-PN models. From the ring-down portion of the GW we extract the fundamental quasi-normal mode and several of the overtones. Finally, we estimate the optimal signal-to-noise ratio for typical binaries detectable by GW experiments.