University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > HEP/GR Informal Seminar Series for Graduate Students > Averaging the average: new insights on the dynamics of precessing black-hole binaries

Averaging the average: new insights on the dynamics of precessing black-hole binaries

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The dynamics of precessing black-hole binaries in the post-Newtonian regime is deeply characterized by a timescale hierarchy: the orbital timescale is very short compared to the spin-precession timescale which, in turn, is much shorter than the radiation reaction timescale on which the orbit is shrinking due to gravitational-wave emission. The binary dynamics is typically studied in an orbit-averaged fashion: one only cares about the orbit itself, not the instantaneous position of each black hole. Here we also average over the precessional time, thus considering the precessional cones “as a whole”, without tracking the spin’s secular motion. These solutions improve our understanding of spin precession in much the same way that the conical sections for Keplerian orbits provide additional insights beyond Newton’s 1/r^2 law. More on arXiv:1411.0674.

This talk is part of the HEP/GR Informal Seminar Series for Graduate Students series.

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