## Abstract

Binary black hole simulations starting from quasi-circular (i.e., zero radial velocity) initial data have orbits with small but nonzero orbital eccentricities. In this paper, the quasi-equilibrium initial-data method is extended to allow nonzero radial velocities to be specified in binary black hole initial data. New low-eccentricity initial data are obtained by adjusting the orbital frequency and radial velocities to minimize the orbital eccentricity, and the resulting (∼5 orbit) evolutions are compared with those of quasi-circular initial data. Evolutions of the quasi-circular data clearly show eccentric orbits, with eccentricity that decays over time. The precise decay rate depends on the definition of eccentricity; if defined in terms of variations in the orbital frequency, the decay rate agrees well with the prediction of Peters (1964 Phys. Rev. 136 1224-32). The gravitational waveforms, which contain ∼8 cycles in the dominant l ≤ m ≤ 2 mode, are largely unaffected by the eccentricity of the quasi-circular initial data. The overlap between the dominant mode in the quasi-circular evolution and the same mode in the low-eccentricity evolution is about 0.99.

Original language | English (US) |
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Article number | S06 |

Pages (from-to) | S59-S81 |

Journal | Classical and Quantum Gravity |

Volume | 24 |

Issue number | 12 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jun 21 2007 |

Externally published | Yes |

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)