S E M I N A R IDepartament d'Astronomia i Astrofísica
Universitat de València
Computer Simulations of Black Holes and Gravitational Waves
Prof. Bernd Brügmann
Relativity Group Theoretisch-Physikalisches Institut (TPI) Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Alemanya
Colloquia del departament d'Astronomia i Astrofísica
Divendres 19 octubre 2007
One of the great challenges in general relativity is the two body problem for black hole binaries. Since orbiting black holes emit gravitational waves that carry away energy and momentum, their orbit decays. The black holes follow a spiral that eventually leads to the violent collision and merger of the black holes, during which a large final burst of gravitational radiation is emitted. The challenge is to solve the Einstein equations in the highly dynamic and strongly non-linear regime. We review recent breakthroughs that for the first time allow computer simulations to model the entire strong-field merger process. As an application we discuss gravitational radiation recoil. Since gravitational waves carry momentum, by momentum conservation the remnant of a black hole merger can move with significant speed with respect to the original rest frame, possibly ejecting the merged black holes from the surrounding star formation.