We study ultrarelativistic encounters of two spinning, equal-mass black holes through simulations in full numerical relativity. Two initial data sequences are studied in detail: one that leads to scattering and one that leads to a grazing collision and merger. In all cases, the initial black hole spins lie in the orbital plane, a configuration that leads to the so-called superkicks. In astrophysical, quasicircular inspirals, such kicks can be as large as ∼3000km/s; here, we find configurations that exceed ∼15000km/s. We find that the maximum recoil is to a good approximation proportional to the total amount of energy radiated in gravitational waves, but largely independent of whether a merger occurs or not. This shows that the mechanism predominantly responsible for the superkick is not related to merger dynamics. Rather, a consistent explanation is that the "bobbing" motion of the orbit causes an asymmetric beaming of the radiation produced by the in-plane orbital motion of the binary, and the net asymmetry is balanced by a recoil. We use our results to formulate some conjectures on the ultimate kick achievable in any black hole encounter.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology|
|State||Published - Jan 28 2011|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)