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The RIT's Numerical Relativity group is one of the largest and internationally renown group in the modeling and simulation of compact binaries in extreme astrophysical environments.
Numerical Relativity (NR) uses advanced numerical techniques in supercomputers to simulate the relativistic, strong-field dynamics and radiation of merging compact binaries, such as black holes and neutron stars, and other similar phenomena that are governed by Einstein's theory of General Relativity (GR). Analytical relativity (AR) methods, based on Post-Newtonian expansions of the GR equations and black-hole perturbation theory, are also used to study respectfully the early phases of the inspiral of compact object binaries and the resulting black-hole remnant.
Recent breakthroughs, in great part due to members of the group (e.g. see for example the moving puncture approach), have opened new frontiers in gravitational wave astrophysics. They have permitted the first calculations gravitational radiation from merging black holes with arbitrary masses abd spins, the discovery of large gravitational-radiation recoils (up to 4000 km/s) from merging spinning supermassive black-holes, the study of spin dynamics effects, such as spin-flips, precession and hang-up orbits and extreme mass-ratio binaries.
Combined general relativistic and magneto-hydrodynamics (GRMHD) simulations are used to model black hole - neutron star and neutron star - neutron star binaries.These astrophysical sources are believed to be the origin of gamma ray bursts (unexplained blasts of intense electromagnetic radiation). GRMHD simulations are also used to study and accretion disks around supermassive black holes and explore relativistic phenomena in active galactic nuclei such as jets in active galactic nuclei.
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The RIT's numerical relativity group is the largest group in our center. It currently includes: Manuela Campanelli (lead), Joshua Faber, Carlos Lousto, Hiroyuki Nakano, Scott Noble, Bruno Mundim, Marcelo Ponce and Yosef Zlochower.
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