Binary black hole initial data from matched asymptotic expansions

Nicolás Yunes, Wolfgang Tichy, Benjamin J. Owen, Bernd Brügmann

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We present an approximate metric for a binary black-hole spacetime to construct initial data for numerical relativity. This metric is obtained by asymptotically matching a post-Newtonian metric for a binary system to a perturbed Schwarzschild metric for each hole. In the inner zone near each hole, the metric is given by the Schwarzschild solution plus a quadrupolar perturbation corresponding to an external tidal gravitational field. In the near zone, well outside each black hole but less than a reduced wavelength from the center of mass of the binary, the metric is given by a post-Newtonian expansion including the lowest-order deviations from flat spacetime. When the near zone overlaps each inner zone in a buffer zone, the post-Newtonian and perturbed Schwarzschild metrics can be asymptotically matched to each other. By demanding matching (over a 4-volume in the buffer zone) rather than patching (choosing a particular 2-surface in the buffer zone), we guarantee that the errors are small in all zones. The resulting piecewise metric is made formally C with smooth transition functions so as to obtain the finite extrinsic curvature of a 3-slice. In addition to the metric and extrinsic curvature, we present explicit results for the lapse and the shift, which can be used as initial data for numerical simulations. This initial data is not accurate all the way to the asymptotically flat ends inside each hole, and therefore must be used with evolution codes which employ black hole excision rather than puncture methods. This paper lays the foundations of a method that can be straightforwardly iterated to obtain initial data to higher perturbative order.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104011
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2006


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