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Numerical models of black hole systems as sources of gravitational radiation


With the completion of the first scientific data runs at the ground-based interferometric gravitational wave detectors, the day is quickly approaching when we will have the first confirmed observations of gravitational radiation. The coalescence of galactic binaries containing two black holes is a prime candidate for observation by the detectors, due to the relative strength of the gravitational wave signal from such an event.

With that in mind, one of the primary research topics in general relativity has be en the numerical modelling of a space-time constaining two orbiting and merging black holes. To this day, the general relativistic two-body problem remains unsolved; the complexity of the highly coupled non-linear field equations requires non-trivial numeric al solutions. The proposed Incoming International Fellowship will support a researcher working in collaboration with the relativity group at the Observatory of Paris at Meudon for the purpose of developing and implementing a stable, accurate numerical code to model two inspiralling black holes.

The model will be based on a constrained scheme developed by the Meudon group, which introduces a Dirac gauge and maximal slicing conditions in spherical coordinates to formulate Einstein's equations as quasi-linear elliptic equations and wave equations. The collaboration will advance the fields of relativity and gravitational wave astronomy within Europe while providing support for the professional development of the researcher and the enhancement of scientific excellence at the host institution.

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