We test the accuracy of our recently proposed empirical formula to model the recoil velocity imparted to the merger remnant of spinning, unequal-mass black-hole binaries. We study three families of black-hole binary configurations, all with mass ratio q=3/8 (to maximize the unequal-mass contribution to the kick) and spins aligned (or counter aligned) with the orbital angular momentum, two with spin configurations chosen to minimize the spin-induced tangential and radial accelerations of the trajectories respectively, and a third family where the trajectories are significantly altered by spin-orbit coupling. We find good agreement between the measured and predicted recoil velocities for the first two families, and reasonable agreement for the third. We also re-examine our original generic binary configuration that led to the discovery of extremely large spin-driven recoil velocities and inspired our empirical formula, and find reasonable agreement between the predicted and measured recoil speeds.

Publication Date



This is the pre-print of an article published by the American Physical Society. The final, published version is available here: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.77.044028

©2008 American Physical Society

Also archived in arXiv:0708.4048 v3 Mar 13, 2008

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus