In this paper we develop a technique for determining the algebraic classification of a numerical spacetime, possibly resulting from a generic black-hole-binary merger, using the Newman-Penrose Weyl scalars. We demonstrate these techniques for a test case involving a close binary with arbitrarily oriented spins and unequal masses. We find that, post merger, the spacetime quickly approaches Petrov type II, and only approaches type D on much longer timescales. These techniques allow us to begin to explore the validity of the “no-hair theorem” for generic merging-black-hole spacetimes.

Publication Date



This is the pre-print of an article published by the American Physical Society. The final, published version of this paper is available here: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.79.084012

©2009 American Physical Society

Archived in arXiv:0811.3006 v1 Nov 18, 2008

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Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus