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A new mathematical acronym that helps describe colliding black holes


What kinds of situations might create such mergers? Researchers are unsure, as these are the opening frontiers of the modern universe. But there are some possibilities.

First, astronomers can imagine a black hole of about 80 or 100 mass solar masses colliding with a smaller black hole the size of a star about 5 solar masses.

Another possibility would involve a collision between a garden-type stellar black hole and a relatively weak black hole left by the Big Bang –‘Primitive’ black hole. These can contain less than 1 percent of the solar mass, while the vast majority of Black holes discovered by LIGO It weighs more than 10 solar masses to date.

Earlier this year, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics used the Field and Khana surrogate model to search in LIGO data for signs of gravitational waves emitted by Mergers involving primordial black holes. Although they didn’t find anything, they were able to set more precise limits on the potential abundance of this hypothetical class of black holes.

Furthermore it, Lisa, Which is a planned space gravitational-wave observatory, may one day be able to witness mergers between regular black holes and the massive classes at the centers of galaxies – some of them a billion or more masses from the sun. Lisa’s future is uncertain. Its earliest release date is 2035, and its funding status remains unclear. But if it were to be launched, we could see mergers with mass ratios in excess of a million.

Breaking point

Some in the field, including Hughes, have described the success of the new model as the “unreasonable effectiveness of approximating point particles,” confirming the fact that the model’s effectiveness at low mass ratios poses a real mystery. Why should researchers be able to ignore the subtleties of a smaller black hole with the correct answer?

“It tells us something about basic physics,” Khanna said, although that’s exactly what remains a source of curiosity. “We don’t have to occupy ourselves with two beings surrounded by event horizons that can distort and interact with each other in strange ways.” But nobody knows why.

In the absence of answers, Field and Khanna try to extend their model to more realistic situations. In a paper due to be published early this summer on the arxiv.org preprint server, the researchers gave the larger black hole some rotation, something that would be expected in an astrophysic realm situation. Once again, their model closely matches the results of simulating numerical relativity with mass ratios up to 3.

They then plan to look at black holes approaching each other in elliptical orbits rather than completely circular orbits. They also plan, in coordination with Hughes, to introduce the concept of “skewed orbits” – situations in which black holes are skewed relative to one another and rotate in different geometric levels.

Finally, they hope to learn from their model by trying to break it. Can it work with a block ratio of 2 or less? Field and Khanna want to know that. “One gains confidence in the approximation method when one sees that it is failing,” he said Richard Price, A physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “When you approximate that gets surprisingly good results, you wonder if you cheat somehow, subconsciously using an outcome that you shouldn’t have reached.” He added that if Field and Khanna push their model to breaking point, “you really know that what you’re doing isn’t cheating – and you’ve got a rough estimate that works better than you’d expect.”

Original story Reprinted with permission from Quanta MagazineAnd the Independent editorial publication The Simons Foundation Its mission is to enhance the general understanding of science by covering developments and research trends in mathematics, the physical sciences, and the life sciences.


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