Authors: Eanna E. Flanagan, Tanja Hinderer
Date: 3 Apr 2007
Abstract: We analyze the effect of gravitational radiation reaction on generic orbits around a body with an axisymmetric mass quadrupole moment Q to linear order in Q, to the leading post-Newtonian order, and to linear order in the mass ratio. This system admits three constants of the motion in absence of radiation reaction: energy, angular momentum, and a third constant analogous to the Carter constant. We compute instantaneous and time-averaged rates of change of these three constants. For a point particle orbiting a black hole, Ryan has computed the leading order evolution of the orbit's Carter constant, which is linear in the spin. Our result, when combined with an interaction quadratic in the spin (the coupling of the black hole's spin to its own radiation reaction field), gives the next to leading order evolution. The effect of the quadrupole, like that of the linear spin term, is to circularize eccentric orbits and to drive the orbital plane towards antialignment with the symmetry axis. In addition we consider a system of two point masses where one body has a single mass multipole or current multipole. To linear order in the mass ratio, to linear order in the multipole, and to the leading post-Newtonian order, we show that there does not exist an analog of the Carter constant for such a system (except for the cases of spin and mass quadrupole). With mild additional assumptions, this result falsifies the conjecture that all vacuum, axisymmetric spacetimes posess a third constant of geodesic motion.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis