We review the formation and evolution of compact binary stars consisting of white dwarfs (WDs), neutron stars (NSs), and black holes (BHs). Binary NSs and BHs are thought to be the primary astrophysical sources of gravitational waves (GWs) within the frequency band of ground-based detectors, while compact binaries of WDs are important sources of GWs at lower frequencies to be covered by space interferometers (LISA). Major uncertainties in the current understanding of properties of NSs and BHs most relevant to the GW studies are discussed, including the treatment of the natal kicks which compact stellar remnants acquire during the core collapse of massive stars and the common envelope phase of binary evolution. We discuss the coalescence rates of binary NSs and BHs and prospects for their detections, the formation and evolution of binary WDs and their observational manifestations. Special attention is given to AM CVn-stars — compact binaries in which the Roche lobe is filled by another WD or a low-mass partially degenerate helium-star, as these stars are thought to be the best LISA verification binary GW sources.
Archive for 2006
The asymptotic safety scenario in quantum gravity is reviewed, according to which a renormalizable quantum theory of the gravitational field is feasible which reconciles asymptotically safe couplings with unitarity. The evidence from symmetry truncations and from the truncated flow of the effective average action is presented in detail. A dimensional reduction phenomenon for the residual interactions in the extreme ultraviolet links both results. For practical reasons the background effective action is used as the central object in the quantum theory. In terms of it criteria for a continuum limit are formulated and the notion of a background geometry self-consistently determined by the quantum dynamics is presented. Self-Contained appendices provide prerequisites on the background effective action, the effective average action, and their respective renormalization flows.
by: Luc Blanchet
The article reviews the current status of a theoretical approach to the problem of the emission of gravitational waves by isolated systems in the context of general relativity. Part A of the article deals with general post-Newtonian sources. The exterior field of the source is investigated by means of a combination of analytic post-Minkowskian and multipolar approximations. The physical observables in the far-zone of the source are described by a specific set of radiative multipole moments. By matching the exterior solution to the metric of the post-Newtonian source in the near-zone we obtain the explicit expressions of the source multipole moments. The relationships between the radiative and source moments involve many non-linear multipole interactions, among them those associated with the tails (and tails-of-tails) of gravitational waves. Part B of the article is devoted to the application to compact binary systems. We present the equations of binary motion, and the associated Lagrangian and Hamiltonian, at the third post-Newtonian (3PN) order beyond the Newtonian acceleration. The gravitational-wave energy flux, taking consistently into account the relativistic corrections in the binary moments as well as the various tail effects, is derived through 3.5PN order with respect to the quadrupole formalism. The binary’s orbital phase, whose prior knowledge is crucial for searching and analyzing the signals from inspiralling compact binaries, is deduced from an energy balance argument.
by: Clifford M. Will
The status of experimental tests of general relativity and of theoretical frameworks for analyzing them is reviewed. Einstein’s equivalence principle (EEP) is well supported by experiments such as the Eötvös experiment, tests of special relativity, and the gravitational redshift experiment. Ongoing tests of EEP and of the inverse square law are searching for new interactions arising from unification or quantum gravity. Tests of general relativity at the post-Newtonian level have reached high precision, including the light deflection, the Shapiro time delay, the perihelion advance of Mercury, and the Nordtvedt effect in lunar motion. Gravitational wave damping has been detected in an amount that agrees with general relativity to better than half a percent using the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar, and other binary pulsar systems have yielded other tests, especially of strong-field effects. When direct observation of gravitational radiation from astrophysical sources begins, new tests of general relativity will be possible.
The galactic population of globular clusters are old, dense star systems, with a typical cluster containing 10^4 – 10^7 stars. As an old population of stars, globular clusters contain many collapsed and degenerate objects. As a dense population of stars, globular clusters are the scene of many interesting close dynamical interactions between stars. These dynamical interactions can alter the evolution of individual stars and can produce tight binary systems containing one or two compact objects. In this review, we discuss the theoretical models of globular cluster evolution and binary evolution, techniques for simulating this evolution which lead to relativistic binaries, and current and possible future observational evidence for this population. Globular cluster evolution will focus on the properties that boost the production of hard binary systems and on the tidal interactions of the galaxy with the cluster, which tend to alter the structure of the globular cluster with time. The interaction of the components of hard binary systems alters the evolution of both bodies and can lead to exotic objects. Direct N-body integrations and Fokker-Planck simulations of the evolution of globular clusters that incorporate tidal interactions and lead to predictions of relativistic binary populations are also discussed. We discuss the current observational evidence for cataclysmic variables, millisecond pulsars, and low-mass X-ray binaries as well as possible future detection of relativistic binaries with gravitational radiation.
This paper discusses spacecraft Doppler tracking, the current-generation detector technology used in the low-frequency (~millihertz) gravitational wave band. In the Doppler method the earth and a distant spacecraft act as free test masses with a ground-based precision Doppler tracking system continuously monitoring the earth-spacecraft relative dimensionless velocity $latex 2 \Delta v/c = \Delta \nu/\nu_0$, where $latex \Delta \nu$ is the Doppler shift and $latex \nu_0$ is the radio link carrier frequency. A gravitational wave having strain amplitude $latex h$ incident on the earth-spacecraft system causes perturbations of order $latex h$ in the time series of $latex \Delta \nu/\nu_0$. Unlike other detectors, the ~1-10 AU earth-spacecraft separation makes the detector large compared with millihertz-band gravitational wavelengths, and thus times-of-flight of signals and radio waves through the apparatus are important. A burst signal, for example, is time-resolved into a characteristic signature: three discrete events in the Doppler time series. I discuss here the principles of operation of this detector (emphasizing transfer functions of gravitational wave signals and the principal noises to the Doppler time series), some data analysis techniques, experiments to date, and illustrations of sensitivity and current detector performance. I conclude with a discussion of how gravitational wave sensitivity can be improved in the low-frequency band.