Rochester Institute of Technology

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Exploring the small mass ratio binary black hole merger via Zeno's dichotomy approach
By Carlos O. Lousto, James Healy
Published in Physical Review Letters 125, 191102 (Thursday, November 5, 2020)


We perform a sequence of binary black hole simulations with increasingly small mass ratios, reaching to a 128:1 binary that displays 13 orbits before merger. Based on a detailed convergence study of the q=m1/m2=1/15 nonspinning case, we apply additional mesh refinements levels around the smaller hole horizon to reach successively the q=1/32, q=1/64, and q=1/128 cases. Roughly a linear computational resources scaling with 1/q is observed on 8-nodes simulations. We compute the remnant properties of the merger: final mass, spin, and recoil velocity, finding precise consistency between horizon and radiation measures. We also compute the gravitational waveforms: its peak frequency, amplitude, and luminosity. We compare those values with predictions of the corresponding phenomenological formulas, reproducing the particle limit within 2%, and we then use the new results to improve their fitting coefficients.

CCRG Authors

Healy, JamesLousto, Carlos O.