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Toroidal horizons in binary black hole inspirals Michael I. Cohen,1,2

Summary: Toroidal horizons in binary black hole inspirals
Michael I. Cohen,1,2
Jeffrey D. Kaplan,1
and Mark A. Scheel1
Theoretical Astrophysics 350-17, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
Palantir Technologies Inc. Suite 300, 100 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, California 94301, USA
(Received 7 October 2011; published 18 January 2012)
We examine the structure of the event horizon for numerical simulations of two black holes that begin
in a quasicircular orbit, inspiral, and finally merge. We find that the spatial cross section of the merged
event horizon has spherical topology (to the limit of our resolution), despite the expectation that generic
binary black hole mergers in the absence of symmetries should result in an event horizon that briefly has a
toroidal cross section. Using insight gained from our numerical simulations, we investigate how the choice
of time slicing affects both the spatial cross section of the event horizon and the locus of points at which
generators of the event horizon cross. To ensure the robustness of our conclusions, our results are checked
at multiple numerical resolutions. Three-dimensional visualization data for these resolutions are available
for public access online. We find that the structure of the horizon generators in our simulations is
consistent with expectations, and the lack of toroidal horizons in our simulations is due to our choice of
time slicing.


Source: Adolphs, Ralph - Psychology and Neuroscience, California Institute of Technology


Collections: Biology and Medicine