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Physics Colloquium: Effective Potentials and Morphological Transitions for Binary Black-Hole Spin Precession
Wednesday, Apr 1, 2015
4 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Location: SLC 1.102

Dr. Michael Kesden (UT Dallas)

     Generic binary black holes have spins that are misaligned with their orbital angular momentum.  I will derive an effective potential for binary black-hole spin precession with which I can solve the orbit-averaged spin-precession equations analytically for arbitrary mass ratios and spins.  These solutions are quasiperiodic functions of time: after a precessional period the spins return to their initial relative orientations.  They classify black-hole spin precession into three distinct morphologies between which the black holes can transition during their inspiral.  They also can be used to derive a precession-averaged evolution equation that can be numerically integrated on the radiation-reaction time, allowing black-hole spins to be tracked statistically from formation to merger.  This new equation can be used to predict the signatures of black-hole formation in the gravitational waves emitted near merger and the distributions of final spins and gravitational recoils.

Contact Info:
Michael Kesden, 972-883-3598
Questions? Email me.

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