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Merging black holes

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Black-hole mergers take place in regions of very strong and dynamical gravitational fields, and are among the strongest sources of gravitational radiation. Probing these mergers requires solving the full set of Einstein's equations of general relativity numerically. For more than 40 years, progress towards this goal has been very slow, as numerical relativists encountered a host of difficult problems. Recently, several breakthroughs have led to dramatic progress, enabling stable and accurate calculations of black-hole mergers. This article presents an overview of this field, including impacts on astrophysics and applications in gravitational wave data analysis.

Keywords: black holes; gravitational waves; numerical relativity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, USA 2: Gravitational Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, USA,CRESST, Columbia, MD, USA,Department of Physics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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