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Matter and Electromagnetic Fields in Strong Gravity

CSIC Building (#406), Seminar Room 4122.

Modeling Flows Around Merging Black Hole Binaries

Joan Centrella

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Abstract:   Coalescing massive black hole binaries are produced by the merger of galaxies. The final stages of the black hole coalescence produce strong gravitational radiation that can be detected by the space-borne LISA. In cases in which the black hole merger takes place in the presence of gas and magnetic fields, various types of electromagnetic signals may also be produced. Modeling such electromagnetic counterparts of the final merger requires evolving the behavior of both gas and fields in the strong-field regions around the black holes. We have taken a first step towards this problem by mapping the flow of pressureless matter in the dynamic, 3-D general relativistic spacetime around the merging black holes. We report on the results of these initial simulations and discuss their likely importance for future hydrodynamical simulations.

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