Abstract

We present techniques for long-term, stable, and accurate evolutions of multiple-black-hole spacetimes using the ‘moving puncture’ approach with fourth- and eighth-order finite difference stencils. We use these techniques to explore configurations of three black holes in a hierarchical system consisting of a third black hole approaching a quasi-circular black-hole binary, and find that, depending on the size of the binary, the resulting encounter may lead to a prompt merger of all three black holes, production of a highly elliptical binary (with the third black hole remaining unbound), or disruption of the binary (leading to three free black holes). We also analyze the classical Burrau three-body problem using full numerical evolutions. In both cases, we find behaviors distinctly different from Newtonian predictions, which has important implications for N-body black-hole simulations. For our simulations we use approximate analytic initial data. We find that the eighth-order stencils significantly reduce the numerical errors for our choice of grid sizes, and that the approximate initial data produces the expected waveforms for black-hole binaries with modest initial separations.

Publication Date

1-22-2008

Comments

Also archived in: arXiv:0711.1165 v2 Mar 3, 2008Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Article

Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)

Campus

RIT – Main Campus

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