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computing cosmic cataclysmsThe final merger of two black holes releases a tremendous amount of energy, more than the combined light from all the stars in the visible universe. This energy is emitted in the form of gravitational waves, and observing these sources with gravitational wave detectors requires that we know the pattern or fingerprint of the radiation emitted. Since black hole mergers take place in regions of extreme gravitational fields, we need to solve Einstein's equations of general relativity on a computer in order to calculate these wave patterns. For more than 30 years, scientists have tried to compute these wave patterns. However, their computer codes have been plagued by problems that caused them to crash. This situation has changed dramatically in the past few years, with a series of amazing breakthroughs. This talk will take you on this quest for these gravitational wave patterns, showing how a spacetime is constructed on a computer to build a simulation laboratory for binary black hole mergers. We will focus on the recent advances that are revealing these waveforms, and the dramatic new potential for discoveries that arises when these sources will be observed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Centrella, Joan M.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.