Ultrarelativistic collisions of black holes are ideal gedanken experiments to study the nonlinearities of general relativity. In this paper we use semianalytical tools to better understand the nature of these collisions and the emitted gravitational radiation. We explain many features of the energy spectra extracted from numerical relativity simulations using two complementary semianalytical calculations. In the first calculation we estimate the radiation by a "zero-frequency limit" analysis of the collision of two point particles with finite impact parameter. In the second calculation we replace one of the black holes by a point particle plunging with arbitrary energy and impact parameter into a Schwarzschild black hole, and we explore the multipolar structure of the radiation paying particular attention to the near-critical regime. We also use a geodesic analogy to provide qualitative estimates of the dependence of the scattering threshold on the black hole spin and on the dimensionality of the spacetime.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology|
|State||Published - May 27 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)