Presentation Archive

Relativistic orbital resonances and their impact on binary inspiral

Scott Hughes

March 21, 2013

Abstract: Some strong field black hole orbits exhibit resonances, meaning that the frequency of motion associated with one of the orbit’s degrees of freedom is some integer ratio times the frequency associated with another degree of freedom. Resonances are well known in Newtonian orbital dynamics, and are responsible for some interesting features of the motion of certain bodies in our solar system. In relativistic systems, orbits in which the radial and polar frequencies are in resonance can have an especially strong impact on the inspiral-driven evolution of these binaries. In this talk, I will describe the physical mechanism by which resonances affect binary inspiral, and demonstrate that these effects are generic for large mass-ratio systems.