Orbital Evolution of Extreme-Mass-Ratio Black-Hole Binaries with Numerical Relativity
Published in Physical Review Letters 106, 041101 (Monday, January 24, 2011)
We perform the first fully nonlinear numerical simulations of black-hole binaries with mass ratios 100∶1. Our technique is based on the moving puncture formalism with a new gauge condition and an optimal choice of the mesh refinement. The evolutions start with a small nonspinning black hole just outside the ISCO that orbits twice before plunging. We compute the gravitational radiation, as well as the final remnant parameters, and find close agreement with perturbative estimates. We briefly discuss the relevance of these simulations for Advanced LIGO, third-generation ground-based detectors, LISA observations, and self-force computations.