A toy model for testing finite element methods to simulate extreme-mass-ratio binary systems

Carlos F. Sopuerta, Pengtao Sun, Pablo Laguna, Jinchao Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Extreme-mass-ratio binary systems, binaries involving stellar mass objects orbiting massive black holes, are considered to be a primary source of gravitational radiation to be detected by the space-based interferometer LISA. The numerical modelling of these binary systems is extremely challenging because the scales involved expand over several orders of magnitude. One needs to handle large wavelength scales comparable to the size of the massive black hole and, at the same time, to resolve the scales in the vicinity of the small companion where radiation reaction effects play a crucial role. Adaptive finite element methods, in which quantitative control of errors is achieved automatically by finite element mesh adaptivity based on a posteriori error estimation, are a natural choice that has great potential for achieving the high level of adaptivity required in these simulations. To demonstrate this, we present the results of simulations of a toy model, consisting of a point-like source orbiting a black hole under the action of a scalar gravitational field.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-285
Number of pages35
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-02-15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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