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Understanding the "anti-kick" in the merger of binary black holes

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons20670

Rezzolla,  Luciano
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons26311

Jaramillo,  Jose-Luis
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

1003.0873
(Preprint), 627KB

PRL104_221101.pdf
(Any fulltext), 373KB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Rezzolla, L., Macedo, R. P., & Jaramillo, J.-L. (2010). Understanding the "anti-kick" in the merger of binary black holes. Physical Review Letters, 104(22): 221101. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.221101.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-9DF5-F
Abstract
The generation of a large recoil velocity from the inspiral and merger of binary black holes represents one of the most exciting results of numerical-relativity calculations. While many aspects of this process have been investigated and explained, the "anti-kick", namely the sudden deceleration after the merger, has not yet found a simple explanation. We show that the anti-kick can be easily understood in terms of the radiation from a deformed black hole where the intrinsically anisotropic curvature distribution on the horizon determines the direction and intensity of the recoil. Our analysis is focussed on the properties of Robinson-Trautman spacetimes and allows us to measure both the energies and momenta radiated in a gauge-invariant manner. At the same time, this simpler setup provides all the qualitative but also quantitative features of inspiralling black hole binaries, thus opening the way to a deeper understanding of the nonlinear dynamics of black-hole spacetimes.