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Journal Article

Transition from Inspiral to Plunge: A Complete Near-Extremal Waveform


Gair,  Jonathan
Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Burke, O., Gair, J., & Simón, J. (2020). Transition from Inspiral to Plunge: A Complete Near-Extremal Waveform. Physical Review D, 101: 064026. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.101.064026.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-D1DB-9
We extend the Ori and Thorne (OT) procedure to compute the transition from an adiabatic inspiral into a geodesic plunge for any spin. Our analysis revisits the validity of the approximations made in OT. In particular, we discuss possible effects coming from eccentricity and non-geodesic past-history of the orbital evolution. We find three different scaling regimes according to whether the mass ratio is much smaller, of the same order or much larger than the near extremal parameter describing how fast the primary black hole rotates. Eccentricity and non-geodesic past-history corrections are always sub-leading, indicating that the quasi-circular approximation applies throughout the transition regime. However, we show that the OT assumption that the energy and angular momentum evolve linearly with proper time must be modified in the near-extremal regime. Using our transition equations, we describe an algorithm to compute the full worldline in proper time for an extreme mass ratio inspiral (EMRI) and the full gravitational waveform in the high spin limit.