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A Numerical Study of Boson Star Binaries
By Bruno Mundim
Published in PhD thesis (Monday, February 1, 2010)


This thesis describes a numerical study of binary boson stars within the context of an approximation to general relativity. The approximation we adopt places certain restrictions on the dynamical variables of general relativity (conformal flatness of the 3-metric), and on the time-slicing of the spacetime (maximal slicing). The resulting modeling problem requires the solution of a coupled nonlinear system of 4 hyperbolic, and 5 elliptic partial differential equations (PDEs) in three space dimensions and time. We approximately solve this system as an initial-boundary value problem, using finite difference techniques and well known, computationally efficient numerical algorithms such as the multigrid method in the case of the elliptic equations. Careful attention is paid to the issue of code validation, and a key part of the thesis is the demonstration that, as the basic scale of finite difference discretization is reduced, our numerical code generates results that converge to a solution of the continuum system of PDEs as desired. The thesis concludes with a discussion of results from some initial explorations of the orbital dynamics of boson star binaries. In particular, we describe calculations in which motion of such a binary is followed for more than two orbital periods, which is a significant advance over previous studies. We also present results from computations in which the boson stars merge, and where there is evidence for black hole formation.