**Authors**: Ulrich Sperhake, Vitor Cardoso, Christian D. Ott, Erik Schnetter, Helvi Witek

**Date**: 26 May 2011

**Abstract**: Numerical relativity has seen incredible progress in the last years, and is being applied with success to a variety of physical phenomena, from gravitational-wave research and relativistic astrophysics to cosmology and high-energy physics. Here we probe the limits of current numerical setups, by studying collisions of unequal mass, non-rotating black holes of mass-ratios up to 1:100 and making contact with a classical calculation in General Relativity: the infall of a point-like particle into a massive black hole.

Our results agree well with the predictions coming from linearized calculations of the infall of point-like particles into non-rotating black holes. In particular, in the limit that one hole is much smaller than the other, and the infall starts from an infinite initial separation, we recover the point-particle limit. Thus, numerical relativity is able to bridge the gap between fully non-linear dynamics and linearized approximations, which may have important applications. Finally, we also comment on the "spurious" radiation content in the initial data and the linearized predictions.

1105.5391
(/preprints)

2011-06-01, 11:57
**[edit]**

© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29

*Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis*