Improved moving puncture gauge conditions for compact binary evolutions

Zachariah B. Etienne, John G. Baker, Vasileios Paschalidis, Bernard J. Kelly, Stuart L. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Robust gauge conditions are critically important to the stability and accuracy of numerical relativity (NR) simulations involving compact objects. Most of the NR community use the highly robust - though decade-old - moving-puncture (MP) gauge conditions for such simulations. It has been argued that in binary black hole evolutions adopting this gauge, noise generated near adaptive-mesh-refinement (AMR) boundaries does not converge away cleanly with increasing resolution, severely limiting gravitational waveform accuracy at computationally feasible resolutions. We link this noise to a sharp (short-wavelength), initial outgoing gauge wave crossing into progressively lower resolution AMR grids and present improvements to the standard MP gauge conditions that focus on stretching, smoothing, and more rapidly settling this outgoing wave. Our best gauge choice greatly reduces gravitational waveform noise during inspiral, yielding less fluctuation in convergence order and ∼40% lower waveform phase and amplitude errors at typical resolutions. Noise in other physical quantities of interest is also reduced, and constraint violations drop by more than an order of magnitude. We expect these improvements will carry over to simulations of all types of compact binary systems, as well as other N+1 formulations of gravity for which MP-like gauge conditions can be chosen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064032
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 19 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Improved moving puncture gauge conditions for compact binary evolutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this