Gravity-dominated unequal-mass black hole collisions

Ulrich Sperhake, Emanuele Berti, Vitor Cardoso, Frans Pretorius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We continue our series of studies of high-energy collisions of black holes investigating unequal-mass, boosted head-on collisions in four dimensions. We show that the fraction of the center-of-mass energy radiated as gravitational waves becomes independent of mass ratio and approximately equal to 13% at large energies. We support this conclusion with calculations using black hole perturbation theory and Smarr's zero-frequency limit approximation. These results lend strong support to the conjecture that the detailed structure of the colliding objects is irrelevant at high energies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044012
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 4 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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