Semirelativistic approximation to gravitational radiation from encounters with nonspinning black holes

Jonathan R. Gair*, Daniel J. Kennefick, Shane L. Larson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The capture of compact bodies by black holes in galactic nuclei is an important prospective source for low frequency gravitational wave detectors, such as the planned Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. This paper calculates, using a semirelativistic approximation, the total energy and angular momentum lost to gravitational radiation by compact bodies on very high eccentricity orbits passing close to a supermassive, nonspinning black hole; these quantities determine the characteristics of the orbital evolution necessary to estimate the capture rate. The semirelativistic approximation improves upon treatments which use orbits at Newtonian order and quadrupolar radiation emission, and matches well onto accurate Teukolsky simulations for low eccentricity orbits. Formulas are presented for the semirelativistic energy and angular momentum fluxes as a function of general orbital parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number084009
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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