The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Self-force and radiation reaction in general relativity

Self-force and radiation reaction in general relativity
Self-force and radiation reaction in general relativity
The detection of gravitational waves from binary black-hole mergers by the LIGO–Virgo Collaboration marks the dawn of an era when general-relativistic dynamics in its most extreme manifestation is directly accessible to observation. In the future, planned (space-based) observatories operating in the millihertz band will detect the intricate gravitational-wave signals from the inspiral of compact objects into massive black holes residing in galactic centers. Such inspiral events are extremely effective probes of black-hole geometries, offering unparalleled precision tests of general relativity in its most extreme regime. This prospect has in the past two decades motivated a programme to obtain an accurate theoretical model of the strong-field radiative dynamics in a two-body system with a small mass ratio. The problem naturally lends itself to a perturbative treatment based on a systematic expansion of the field equations in the small mass ratio. At leading order one has a pointlike particle moving in a geodesic orbit around the large black hole. At subsequent orders, interaction of the particle with its own gravitational perturbation gives rise to an effective 'self-force', which drives the radiative evolution of the orbit, and whose effects can be accounted for order by order in the mass ratio.

This review surveys the theory of gravitational self-force in curved spacetime and its application to the astrophysical inspiral problem. We first lay the relevant formal foundation, describing the rigorous derivation of the equation of self-forced motion using matched asymptotic expansions and other ideas. We then review the progress that has been achieved in numerically calculating the self-force and its physical effects in astrophysically realistic inspiral scenarios. We highlight the way in which, nowadays, self-force calculations make a fruitful contact with other approaches to the two-body problem and help inform an accurate universal model of binary black hole inspirals, valid across all mass ratios. We conclude with a summary of the state of the art, open problems and prospects.

Our review is aimed at non-specialist readers and is for the most part self-contained and non-technical; only elementary-level acquaintance with general relativity is assumed. Where useful, we draw on analogies with familiar concepts from Newtonian gravity or classical electrodynamics.
0034-4885
1-46
Barack, Leor
f08e66d4-c2f7-4f2f-91b8-f2c4230d0298
Pound, Adam
5aac971a-0e07-4383-aff0-a21d43103a70
Barack, Leor
f08e66d4-c2f7-4f2f-91b8-f2c4230d0298
Pound, Adam
5aac971a-0e07-4383-aff0-a21d43103a70

Barack, Leor and Pound, Adam (2018) Self-force and radiation reaction in general relativity. Reports on Progress in Physics, 82 (1), 1-46. (doi:10.1088/1361-6633/aae552).

Record type: Review

Abstract

The detection of gravitational waves from binary black-hole mergers by the LIGO–Virgo Collaboration marks the dawn of an era when general-relativistic dynamics in its most extreme manifestation is directly accessible to observation. In the future, planned (space-based) observatories operating in the millihertz band will detect the intricate gravitational-wave signals from the inspiral of compact objects into massive black holes residing in galactic centers. Such inspiral events are extremely effective probes of black-hole geometries, offering unparalleled precision tests of general relativity in its most extreme regime. This prospect has in the past two decades motivated a programme to obtain an accurate theoretical model of the strong-field radiative dynamics in a two-body system with a small mass ratio. The problem naturally lends itself to a perturbative treatment based on a systematic expansion of the field equations in the small mass ratio. At leading order one has a pointlike particle moving in a geodesic orbit around the large black hole. At subsequent orders, interaction of the particle with its own gravitational perturbation gives rise to an effective 'self-force', which drives the radiative evolution of the orbit, and whose effects can be accounted for order by order in the mass ratio.

This review surveys the theory of gravitational self-force in curved spacetime and its application to the astrophysical inspiral problem. We first lay the relevant formal foundation, describing the rigorous derivation of the equation of self-forced motion using matched asymptotic expansions and other ideas. We then review the progress that has been achieved in numerically calculating the self-force and its physical effects in astrophysically realistic inspiral scenarios. We highlight the way in which, nowadays, self-force calculations make a fruitful contact with other approaches to the two-body problem and help inform an accurate universal model of binary black hole inspirals, valid across all mass ratios. We conclude with a summary of the state of the art, open problems and prospects.

Our review is aimed at non-specialist readers and is for the most part self-contained and non-technical; only elementary-level acquaintance with general relativity is assumed. Where useful, we draw on analogies with familiar concepts from Newtonian gravity or classical electrodynamics.

Text
RoPP - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 28 November 2019.
Request a copy

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 October 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 1 October 2018
Published date: 28 November 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426729
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426729
ISSN: 0034-4885
PURE UUID: c94ccc9d-ac2f-453c-8a4d-d428c43d1770

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Dec 2018 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 17:44

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×