Computing the complete gravitational wavetrain from relativistic binary inspiral

Matthew D. Duez, Thomas W. Baumgarte, Stuart L. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a new method for generating the nonlinear gravitational wavetrain from the late inspiral (precoalescence) phase of a binary neutron star system by means of a numerical evolution calculation in full general relativity. In a prototype calculation, we produce 214 wave cycles from corotating polytropes, representing the final part of the inspiral phase prior to reaching the ISCO. Our method is based on the inequality that the orbital decay time scale due to gravitational radiation is much longer than an orbital period and the approximation that gravitational radiation has little effect on the structure of the stars. We employ quasiequilibrium (QE) sequences of binaries in circular orbit for the matter source in our field evolution code. We compute the gravity-wave energy flux and, from this, the inspirai rate at a discrete set of binary separations. From these data, we construct the gravitational waveform as a continuous wavetrain. Finally, we discuss the limitations of our current calculation, planned improvements, and potential applications of our method to other inspiral scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number084030
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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