Physics of eccentric binary black hole mergers: A numerical relativity perspective

E. A. Huerta, Roland Haas, Sarah Habib, Anushri Gupta, Adam Rebei, Vishnu Chavva, Daniel Johnson, Shawn Rosofsky, Erik Wessel, Bhanu Agarwal, Diyu Luo, Wei Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gravitational wave observations of eccentric binary black hole mergers will provide unequivocal evidence for the formation of these systems through dynamical assembly in dense stellar environments. The study of these astrophysically motivated sources is timely in view of electromagnetic observations, consistent with the existence of stellar mass black holes in the globular cluster M22 and in the galactic center, and the proven detection capabilities of ground-based gravitational wave detectors. In order to get insights into the physics of these objects in the dynamical, strong-field gravity regime, we present a catalog of 89 numerical relativity waveforms that describe binary systems of nonspinning black holes with mass ratios 1≤q≤10, and initial eccentricities as high as e0=0.18 fifteen cycles before merger. We use this catalog to quantify the loss of energy and angular momentum through gravitational radiation, and the astrophysical properties of the black hole remnant, including its final mass and spin, and recoil velocity. We discuss the implications of these results for gravitational wave source modeling, and the design of algorithms to search for and identify eccentric binary black hole mergers in realistic detection scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number64003
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 4 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Physics of eccentric binary black hole mergers: A numerical relativity perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this