[0805.4192] Binary-black-hole initial data with nearly-extremal spins

Authors: Geoffrey Lovelace, Robert Owen, Harald P. Pfeiffer, Tony Chu

Date: 27 May 2008

Abstract: There is a significant possibility that astrophysical black holes with nearly-extremal spins exist. Numerical simulations of such systems require suitable initial data. In this paper, we examine three methods of constructing binary-black-hole initial data, focusing on their ability to generate black holes with nearly-extremal spins: (i) Bowen-York initial data, including standard puncture data (based on conformal flatness and Bowen-York extrinsic curvature), (ii) standard quasi-equilibrium initial data (based on the extended-conformal-thin-sandwich equations, conformal flatness, and maximal slicing), and (iii) quasi-equilibrium data based on the superposition of Kerr-Schild metrics. We find that the two conformally-flat methods (i) and (ii) perform similarly, with spins up to about 0.99 obtainable at the initial time. However, in an evolution, we expect the spin to quickly relax to a significantly smaller value around 0.93 as the initial geometry relaxes. For quasi-equilibrium superposed Kerr-Schild (SKS) data [method (iii)], we construct initial data with initial spins as large as 0.9998. We evolve SKS data sets with spins of 0.93 and 0.97 and find that the spin drops by only a few parts in $10ˆ4$ during the initial relaxation; therefore, we expect that SKS initial data will allow evolutions of binary black holes with relaxed spins above 0.99. [Abstract abbreviated; full abstract also mentions several secondary results.]

abs pdf

May 27, 2008

0805.4192 (/preprints)
2008-05-27, 19:10 [edit]


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