[1105.5811] The harmonic structure of generic Kerr orbits

Authors: Rebecca Grossman, Janna Levin, Gabe Perez-Giz

Date: 29 May 2011

Abstract: Generic Kerr orbits exhibit intricate three-dimensional motion. We offer a classification scheme for these intricate orbits in terms of periodic orbits. The crucial insight is that for a given effective angular momentum $L$ and angle of inclination $\iota$, there exists a discrete set of orbits that are geometrically $n$-leaf clovers in a precessing {\it orbital plane}. When viewed in the full three dimensions, these orbits are periodic in $r-\theta$. Each $n$-leaf clover is associated with a rational number, $1+q_{r\theta}=\omega_\theta/\omega_r$, that measures the degree of perihelion precession in the precessing orbital plane. The rational number $q_{r\theta}$ varies monotonically with the orbital energy and with the orbital eccentricity. Since any bound orbit can be approximated as near one of these periodic $n$-leaf clovers, this special set offers a skeleton that illuminates the structure of all bound Kerr orbits, in or out of the equatorial plane.

abs pdf

Jun 01, 2011

1105.5811 (/preprints)
2011-06-01, 11:54 [edit]


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Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis