Authors: Ioannis Kamaretsos (Cardiff), Mark Hannam (Cardiff), Sascha Husa (Palma), B.S. Sathyaprakash (Cardiff)
Date: 5 Jul 2011
Abstract: Perturbed Kerr black holes emit gravitational radiation, which (for the practical purposes of gravitational-wave astronomy) consists of a superposition of damped sinusoids termed quasi-normal modes. The frequencies and time-constants of the modes depend only on the mass and spin of the black hole - a consequence of the no-hair theorem. It has been proposed that a measurement of two or more quasi-normal modes could be used to confirm that the source is a black hole and to test if general relativity continues to hold in ultra-strong gravitational fields. In this paper we propose a practical approach to testing general relativity with quasi-normal modes. We will also argue that the relative amplitudes of the various quasi-normal modes encode important information about the origin of the perturbation that caused them. This helps in inferring the nature of the perturbation from an observation of the emitted quasi-normal modes. In particular, we will show that the relative amplitudes of the different quasi-normal modes emitted in the process of the merger of a pair of nonspinning black holes can be used to measure the component masses of the progenitor binary.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis