Precessing black hole binaries and their gravitational radiation

Research output: Article


The first and second observational runs of Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) have marked the first direct detections of gravitational waves, either from black hole binaries or, in one case, from coalescing neutron stars. These observations opened up the era of gravitational wave astronomy, but also of gravitational wave cosmology, in the form of an independent derivation of the Hubble constant. They were equally important to prove false a plethora of modified gravity theories predicting gravitational wave propagation speed different from that of light. For a continued and improved testing of general relativity, the precise description of compact binary dynamics, not only in the final coalescence phase but also earlier, when precessional effects dominate, are required. We report on the derivation of the full secular dynamics for compact binaries, valid over the precessional time-scale, in the form of an autonomous closed system of differential equations for the set of spin angles and periastron. The system can be applied for mapping the parameter space for the occurrence of the spin flip-flop effect and for more accurately analyzing the spin-flip effect, which could explain the formation of X-shaped radio galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - febr. 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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