[0708.4048] Further insight into gravitational recoil

Authors: Carlos O. Lousto, Yosef Zlochower

Date: 30 Aug 2007

Abstract: We test the accuracy of our recently proposed empirical formula to model the recoil velocity imparted to the merger remnant of spinning, unequal-mass black-hole binaries. We study three families of black-hole binary configurations, all with mass ratio q=3/8 (to maximize the unequal-mass contribution to the kick) and spins aligned (or counter aligned) with the orbital angular momentum, two with spin configurations chosen to minimize the spin-induced tangential and radial accelerations of the trajectories respectively, and a third family where the trajectories are significantly altered by spin-orbit coupling. We find good agreement between the measured and predicted recoil velocities for the first two families, and reasonable agreement for the third. We also re-examine our original generic binary configuration that led to the discovery of extremely large spin-driven recoil velocities and inspired our empirical formula, and find reasonable agreement between the predicted and measured recoil speeds.

abs pdf

Aug 31, 2007

0708.4048 (/preprints)
2007-08-31, 08:59 [edit]


[0708.3999] Spin Diagrams for Equal-Mass Black-Hole Binaries with Aligned Spins

Authors: Luciano Rezzolla, Ernst Nils Dorband, Christian Reisswig, Peter Diener, Denis Pollney, Erik Schnetter, Bela Szilagyi

Date: 29 Aug 2007

Abstract: Binary black-hole systems with spins aligned with the orbital angular momentum are of special interest as they may be the preferred end-state of the inspiral of generic binary black-hole systems. In view of this, we have computed the inspiral and merger of a large set of binary systems of equal-mass black holes with spins aligned with the orbital angular momentum but otherwise arbitrary. By least-square fitting the results of these simulations we have constructed two ‘spin diagrams’ which provide straightforward information about the recoil velocity |v_kick| and the final black-hole spin a_fin in terms of the dimensionless spins a_1 and a_2 of the two initial black holes. The analytic expressions used to construct the spin diagrams could be easily implemented in N-body simulations of compact stellar systems or in statistical studies on the evolution of binary black holes in massive galaxies, and suggest a maximum recoil velocity of |v_kick| = 441.94 +- 1.56 km/s for systems with a_1=-a_2=1 and maximum final spin a_fin =0.9591 +- 0.0022 for systems with a_1=a_2=1.

abs pdf

Aug 29, 2007

0708.3999 (/preprints)
2007-08-29, 17:53 [edit]


[0708.3680] Black Holes, Entropy, and Information

Authors: Gary T. Horowitz

Date: 27 Aug 2007

Abstract: Black holes are a continuing source of mystery. Although their classical properties have been understood since the 1970's, their quantum properties raise some of the deepest questions in theoretical physics. Some of these questions have recently been answered using string theory. I will review these fundamental questions, and the aspects of string theory needed to answer them. I will then explain the recent developments and new insights into black holes that they provide. Some remaining puzzles are mentioned in the conclusion.

abs pdf

Aug 28, 2007

0708.3680 (/preprints)
2007-08-28, 22:03 [edit]


[0708.2743] The clock ambiguity and the emergence of physical laws

Authors: Andreas Albrecht, Alberto Iglesias

Date: 21 Aug 2007

Abstract: The process of identifying a time variable in time reparameterization invariant theories results in great ambiguities about the actual laws of physics described by a given theory. A theory set up to describe one set of physical laws can equally well be interpreted as describing any other laws of physics by making a different choice of time variable or ‘clock’. In this article we demonstrate how this ‘clock ambiguity’ arises and then discuss how one might still hope to extract specific predictions about the laws of physics even when the clock ambiguity is present. We argue that a requirement of quasi-separability should play a critical role in such an analysis. As a step in this direction, we compare the Hamiltonian of a local quantum field theory with a completely random Hamiltonian. We find that any random Hamiltonian (constructed in a sufficiently large space) can yield a ‘good enough’ approximation to a local field theory. Based on this result we argue that theories that suffer from the clock ambiguity may in the end provide a viable fundamental framework for physics in which locality can be seen as a strongly favored (or predicted) emergent behavior. We also speculate on how other key aspects of known physics such as gauge symmetries and Poincare invariance might be predicted to emerge in this framework.

abs pdf

Aug 27, 2007

0708.2743 (/preprints)
2007-08-27, 18:45 [edit]


[0708.3493] Best network chirplet-chain: Near-optimal coherent detection of unmodeled gravitation wave chirps with a network of detectors

Authors: Archana Pai (AEI, Potsdam), Eric Chassande-Mottin (APC, Paris; OCA, Nice), Olivier Rabaste (APC, Paris)

Date: 26 Aug 2007

Abstract: The searches of impulsive gravitational waves (GW) in the data of the ground-based interferometers focus essentially on two types of waveforms: short unmodeled bursts and chirps from inspiralling compact binaries. There is room for other types of searches based on different models. Our objective is to fill this gap. More specifically, we are interested in GW chirps with an arbitrary phase/frequency vs. time evolution. These unmodeled GW chirps may be considered as the generic signature of orbiting/spinning sources. We expect quasi-periodic nature of the waveform to be preserved independent of the physics which governs the source motion. Several methods have been introduced to address the detection of unmodeled chirps using the data of a single detector. Those include the best chirplet chain (BCC) algorithm introduced by the authors. In the next years, several detectors will be in operation. The joint coherent analysis of GW by multiple detectors can improve the sight horizon, the estimation of the source location and the wave polarization angles. Here, we extend the BCC search to the multiple detector case. The method amounts to searching for salient paths in the combined time-frequency representation of two synthetic streams. The latter are time-series which combine the data from each detector linearly in such a way that all the GW signatures received are added constructively. We give a proof of principle for the full sky blind search in a simplified situation which shows that the joint estimation of the source sky location and chirp frequency is possible.

abs pdf

Aug 27, 2007

0708.3493 (/preprints)
2007-08-27, 18:44 [edit]


[0708.2279] Relating gravitational wave constraints from primordial nucleosynthesis, pulsar timing, laser interferometers, and the CMB: implications for the early universe

Authors: Latham A. Boyle (CITA/Princeton), Alessandra Buonanno (Maryland)

Date: 17 Aug 2007

Abstract: We derive a general master equation relating the gravitational-wave observables r and Omega_gw(f). Here r is the tensor-to-scalar ratio, constrained by cosmic-microwave-background (CMB) experiments; and Omega_gw(f) is the energy spectrum of primordial gravitational-waves, constrained e.g. by pulsar-timing measurements, laser-interferometer experiments, and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN). Differentiating the master equation yields a new expression for the tilt d(ln Omega_gw(f))/d(ln f). The relationship between r and Omega_gw(f) depends sensitively on the uncertain physics of the early universe, and we show that this uncertainty may be encapsulated (in a model-independent way) by two quantities: w_hat(f) and nt_hat(f), where nt_hat(f) is a certain logarithmic average over nt(k) (the primordial tensor spectral index); and w_hat(f) is a certain logarithmic average over w_tilde(a) (the effective equation-of-state in the early universe, after horizon re-entry). Here the effective equation-of-state parameter w_tilde(a) is a combination of the ordinary equation-of-state parameter w(a) and the bulk viscosity zeta(a). Thus, by comparing constraints on r and Omega_gw(f), one can obtain (remarkably tight) constraints in the [w_hat(f), nt_hat(f)] plane. In particular, this is the best way to constrain (or detect) the presence of a ‘stiff’ energy component (with w > 1/3) in the early universe, prior to BBN. Finally, although most of our analysis does not assume inflation, we point out that if CMB experiments detect a non-zero value for r, then we will immediately obtain (as a free by-product) a new upper bound w_hat < 0.55 on the logarithmically averaged effective equation-of-state parameter during the ‘primordial dark age’ between the end of inflation and the start of BBN.

abs pdf

Aug 27, 2007

0708.2279 (/preprints)
2007-08-27, 09:00 [edit]


[0708.2984] Is LIGO already constraining the parameters of QCD?

Authors: B. Haskell, N. Andersson, D.I. Jones, L. Samuelsson

Date: 22 Aug 2007

Abstract: We estimate the maximal deformation that can be sustained by a rotating neutron star with a crystalline colour superconducting quark core. Our results suggest that current gravitational-wave data from LIGO may already be constraining the relevant QCD parameters. We discuss the uncertainties associated with our simple model and how it can be improved in the future.

abs pdf

Aug 22, 2007

0708.2984 (/preprints)
2007-08-22, 17:43 [edit]


[0708.2728] Gravitational wave radiometry: Mapping a stochastic gravitational wave background

Authors: Sanjit Mitra, Sanjeev Dhurandhar, Tarun Souradeep, Albert Lazzarini, Vuk Mandic, Sukanta Bose, Stefan Ballmer

Date: 20 Aug 2007

Abstract: The problem of the detection and mapping of a stochastic gravitational wave background (SGWB), either of cosmological or astrophysical origin, bears a strong semblance to the analysis of CMB anisotropy and polarization. The basic statistic we use is the cross-correlation between the data from a pair of detectors. In order to ‘point’ the pair of detectors at different locations one must suitably delay the signal by the amount it takes for the gravitational waves (GW) to travel to both detectors corresponding to a source direction. Then the raw (observed) sky map of the SGWB is the signal convolved with a beam response function that varies with location in the sky. We first present a thorough analytic understanding of the structure of the beam response function using an analytic approach employing the stationary phase approximation. The true sky map is obtained by numerically deconvolving the beam function in the integral (convolution) equation. We adopt the maximum likelihood framework to estimate the true sky map that has been successfully used in the broadly similar, well-studied CMB map making problem. We numerically implement and demonstrate the method on simulated (unpolarized) SGWB for the radiometer consisting of the LIGO pair of detectors at Hanford and Livingston. We include ‘realistic’ additive Gaussian noise in each data stream based on the LIGO-I noise power spectral density. The extension of the method to multiple baselines and polarized GWB is outlined. In the near future the network of GW detectors, including the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors that will be sensitive to sources within a thousand times larger spatial volume, could provide promising data sets for GW radiometry.

abs pdf

Aug 21, 2007

0708.2728 (/preprints)
2007-08-21, 20:05 [edit]


[0708.2436] Relativistic hydrodynamics in the presence of puncture black holes

Authors: Joshua A. Faber, Thomas W. Baumgarte, Zachariah B. Etienne, Stuart L. Shapiro, Keisuke Taniguchi

Date: 17 Aug 2007

Abstract: Many of the recent numerical simulations of binary black holes in vacuum adopt the moving puncture approach. This successful approach avoids the need to impose numerical excision of the black hole interior and is easy to implement. Here we wish to explore how well the same approach can be applied to moving black hole punctures in the presence of relativistic hydrodynamic matter. First, we evolve single black hole punctures in vacuum to calibrate our BSSN implementation and to confirm that the numerical solution for the exterior spacetime is invariant to any ‘junk’ (i.e., constraint-violating) initial data employed in the black hole interior. Then we focus on relativistic Bondi accretion onto a moving puncture Schwarzschild black hole as a numerical testbed for our HRSC relativistic hydrodynamics scheme. We find that the hydrodynamical equations can be evolved successfully in the interior without imposing numerical excision. These results help motivate the adoption of the moving puncture approach to treat the binary black hole-neutron star problem using conformal thin-sandwich initial data.

abs pdf

Aug 20, 2007

0708.2436 (/preprints)
2007-08-20, 17:56 [edit]


[0708.2490] Gyroscope precession in special and general relativity from basic principles

Authors: Rickard Jonsson

Date: 18 Aug 2007

Abstract: In special relativity a gyroscope that is suspended in a torque-free manner will precess as it is moved along a curved path relative to an inertial frame S. We explain this effect, which is known as Thomas precession, by considering a real grid that moves along with the gyroscope, and that by definition is not rotating as observed from its own momentary inertial rest frame. From the basic properties of the Lorentz transformation we deduce how the form and rotation of the grid (and hence the gyroscope) will evolve relative to S. As an intermediate step we consider how the grid would appear if it were not length contracted along the direction of motion. We show that the uncontracted grid obeys a simple law of rotation. This law simplifies the analysis of spin precession compared to more traditional approaches based on Fermi transport. We also consider gyroscope precession relative to an accelerated reference frame and show that there are extra precession effects that can be explained in a way analogous to the Thomas precession. Although fully relativistically correct, the entire analysis is carried out using three-vectors. By using the equivalence principle the formalism can also be applied to static spacetimes in general relativity. As an example, we calculate the precession of a gyroscope orbiting a static black hole. In an addendum the general reasoning is extended to include also rotating reference frames.

abs pdf

Aug 20, 2007

0708.2490 (/preprints)
2007-08-20, 17:56 [edit]


[astro-ph/0508514] Fast spin -2 spherical harmonics transforms and application in cosmology

Authors: Y. Wiaux (1), L. Jacques (2), P. Vandergheynst (1) ((1) Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland, (2) Universite catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Date: 24 Aug 2005

Abstract: A fast and exact algorithm is developed for the spin +-2 spherical harmonics transforms on equi-angular pixelizations on the sphere. It is based on the Driscoll and Healy fast scalar spherical harmonics transform. The theoretical exactness of the transform relies on a sampling theorem. The associated asymptotic complexity is of order O(Lˆ2 logˆ2_2(L)), where 2L stands for the square-root of the number of sampling points on the sphere, also setting a band limit L for the spin +-2 functions considered. The algorithm is presented as an alternative to existing fast algorithms with an asymptotic complexity of order O(Lˆ3) on other pixelizations. We also illustrate these generic developments through their application in cosmology, for the analysis of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarization data.

abs pdf

Aug 14, 2007

0508514 (/preprints/astro-ph)
2007-08-14, 17:39 [edit]


[0708.0170v1] On the radar method in general-relativistic spacetimes

Authors: Volker Perlick

Date: 1 Aug 2007

Abstract: If a clock, mathematically modeled by a parametrized timelike curve in a general-relativistic spacetime, is given, the radar method assigns a time and a distance to every event which is sufficiently close to the clock. Several geometric aspects of this method are reviewed and their physical interpretation is discussed.

abs pdf

Aug 02, 2007

0708.0170v1 (/preprints)
2007-08-02, 09:12 [edit]


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