TY - JOUR

T1 - Collisions of unequal mass black holes and the point particle limit

AU - Sperhake, Ulrich

AU - Cardoso, Vitor

AU - Ott, Christian D.

AU - Schnetter, Erik

AU - Witek, Helvi

PY - 2011/10/18

Y1 - 2011/10/18

N2 - Numerical relativity has seen incredible progress in the last years, and is being applied with success to a variety of physical phenomena, from gravitational wave research and relativistic astrophysics to cosmology and high-energy physics. Here we probe the limits of current numerical setups, by studying collisions of unequal mass, nonrotating black holes of mass ratios up to 1 100 and making contact with a classical calculation in general relativity: the infall of a pointlike particle into a massive black hole. Our results agree well with the predictions coming from linearized calculations of the infall of pointlike particles into nonrotating black holes. In particular, in the limit that one hole is much smaller than the other, and the infall starts from an infinite initial separation, we recover the point-particle limit. Thus, numerical relativity is able to bridge the gap between fully nonlinear dynamics and linearized approximations, which may have important applications. Finally, we also comment on the "spurious" radiation content in the initial data and the linearized predictions.

AB - Numerical relativity has seen incredible progress in the last years, and is being applied with success to a variety of physical phenomena, from gravitational wave research and relativistic astrophysics to cosmology and high-energy physics. Here we probe the limits of current numerical setups, by studying collisions of unequal mass, nonrotating black holes of mass ratios up to 1 100 and making contact with a classical calculation in general relativity: the infall of a pointlike particle into a massive black hole. Our results agree well with the predictions coming from linearized calculations of the infall of pointlike particles into nonrotating black holes. In particular, in the limit that one hole is much smaller than the other, and the infall starts from an infinite initial separation, we recover the point-particle limit. Thus, numerical relativity is able to bridge the gap between fully nonlinear dynamics and linearized approximations, which may have important applications. Finally, we also comment on the "spurious" radiation content in the initial data and the linearized predictions.

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U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevD.84.084038

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevD.84.084038

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:80655124980

SN - 1550-7998

VL - 84

JO - Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology

JF - Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology

IS - 8

M1 - 084038

ER -