[1110.2965] A geometric approach to the precession of compact binaries

Authors: Michael Boyle, Robert Owen, Harald P. Pfeiffer

Date: 13 Oct 2011

Abstract: We propose a geometrical method to define a preferred reference frame for precessing binary systems. This minimal-rotation frame is aligned with the angular-momentum axis and fixes the rotation about that axis up to a constant angle, resulting in an essentially invariant frame. Gravitational waveforms decomposed in this frame are similarly invariant under rotations of the inertial frame and exhibit relatively smoothly varying phase. By contrast, earlier prescriptions for radiation-aligned frames induce extraneous features in the gravitational-wave phase which depend on the orientation of the inertial frame, which leads to fluctuations in the frequency and may compound to many gravitational-wave cycles. We suggest that the minimal-rotation frame provides a simplified framework for post-Newtonian approximations of precessing systems and describe the construction of analytical/numerical hybrid waveforms for such systems.

abs pdf

Oct 14, 2011

1110.2965 (/preprints)
2011-10-14, 22:15 [edit]

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Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis