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FTheory: Numerical Simulations of Binary Black Holes and Gravitational Wave Science

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Prayush Kumar, Cornell
When
12 October 2018 from 11:05 AM to 12:15 PM
Where
320 Whitmore Lab
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The discovery of gravitational waves by Advanced LIGO observatories has opened a new window to look through into our Universe. The primary sources for these waves have so far been massive inspiraling binaries of stellar-collapse black holes. Our ground-based detectors are able to observe the last few tens of orbits of these heavy binaries before they merge. These pre-merger orbits are highly relativistic and understanding the non-linearities of this regime requires solving Einstein equations numerically, especially since analytic approximations break down. In this talk I will summarize the methods we use to evolve binary black hole spacetimes in fully nonlinear General Relativity using supercomputers. I will focus on spectral methods that are used for these evolutions by the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC). I will also summarize the various ways these numerical simulations have made possible precision gravitational-wave astrophysics and tests of Einstein's theory of gravity. 

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