Gravitational waves from black-hole mergers

Baker, John G.
Boggs, William D.
Centrella, Joan M.
Kelly, Bernard J.
McWilliams, Sean T.
van Meter, James R.
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Coalescing black-hole binaries are expected to be the strongest sources of gravitational waves for ground-based interferometers as well as the space-based interferometer LISA. Recent progress in numerical relativity now makes it possible to calculate the waveforms from the strong-field dynamical merger and is revolutionizing our understanding of these systems. We review these dramatic developments, emphasizing applications to issues in gravitational wave observations. These new capabilities also make possible accurate calculations of the recoil or kick imparted to the final remnant black hole when the merging components have unequal masses, or unequal or unaligned spins. We highlight recent work in this area, focusing on results of interest to astrophysics.
Comment: Added reference on large spin-kick configurations. 14 pages, 5 figures, 1 table. To be published in the Proceedings of the 2007 Spring Symposium of the Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore, MD), held from Monday April 23, 2007 to Thursday April 26, 2007
Astrophysics, General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology