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Journal Article

Binary black hole evolutions of approximate puncture initial data


Hinder,  Ian
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Bode, T., Laguna, P., Shoemaker, D. M., Hinder, I., Herrmann, F., & Vaishnav, B. (2009). Binary black hole evolutions of approximate puncture initial data. Physical Review D., 80: 024008. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.80.024008.

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Approximate solutions to the Einstein field equations are a valuable tool to investigate gravitational phenomena. An important aspect of any approximation is to investigate and quantify its regime of validity. We present a study that evaluates the effects that approximate puncture initial data, based on "skeleton" solutions to the Einstein constraints as proposed by Faye et al. [PRD 69, 124029 (2004)], have on numerical evolutions. Using data analysis tools, we assess the effectiveness of these constraint-violating initial data and show that the matches of waveforms from skeleton data with the corresponding waveforms from constraint-satisfying initial data are > 0.97 when the total mass of the binary is > 40M(solar). In addition, we demonstrate that the differences between the skeleton and the constraint-satisfying initial data evolutions, and thus waveforms, are due to negative Hamiltonian constraint violations present in the skeleton initial data located in the vicinity of the punctures. During the evolution, the skeleton data develops both Hamiltonian and momentum constraint violations that decay with time, with the binary system relaxing to a constraint-satisfying solution with black holes of smaller mass and thus different dynamics.