Editors: Pau Amaro-Seoane & Bernard Schutz
The last GW Note is a Special Issues on eLISA/NGO

Binary black hole coalescence in the extreme-mass-ratio limit: testing and improving the effective-one-body multipolar waveform

arXiv:1012.2456

by Bernuzzi, Sebastiano and Nagar, Alessandro and Zenginoglu, Anil

We discuss the properties of the effective-one-body (EOB) multipolar gravitational waveform emitted by nonspinning black-hole binaries of masses $latex \mu$ and $latex M$ in the extreme-mass-ratio limit, $latex \mu/M=\nu\ll 1$. We focus on the transition from quasicircular inspiral to plunge, merger and ringdown.We compare the EOB waveform to a Regge-Wheeler-Zerilli (RWZ) waveform computed using the hyperboloidal layer method and extracted at null infinity. Because the EOB waveform keeps track analytically of most phase differences in the early inspiral, we do not allow for any arbitrary time or phase shift between the waveforms. The dynamics of the particle, common to both wave-generation formalisms, is driven by leading-order $latex {\cal O}(\nu)$ analytically–resummed radiation reaction. The EOB and the RWZ waveforms have an initial dephasing of about $latex 5\times 10^{-4}$ rad and maintain then a remarkably accurate phase coherence during the long inspiral ($latex \sim 33$ orbits), accumulating only about $latex -2\times 10^{-3}$ rad until the last stable orbit, i.e. $latex \Delta\phi/\phi\sim -5.95\times 10^{-6}$. We obtain such accuracy without calibrating the analytically-resummed EOB waveform to numerical data, which indicates the aptitude of the EOB waveform for LISA-oriented studies. We then improve the behavior of the EOB waveform around merger by introducing and tuning next-to-quasi-circular corrections both in the gravitational wave amplitude and phase. For each multipole we tune only four next-to-quasi-circular parameters by requiring compatibility between EOB and RWZ waveforms at the light-ring. The resulting phase difference around merger time is as small as $latex \pm 0.015$ rad, with a fractional amplitude agreement of $latex 2.5%$. This suggest that next-to-quasi-circular corrections to the phase can be a useful ingredient in comparisons between EOB and numerical relativity waveforms.

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