With the first ever detection of gravitational waves from merging black-hole binaries by LIGO (Laser Interferometer GravitationalWave Observatory), a new era of gravitational wave astronomy was started. With its increased sensitivity, LIGO will see many more black-hole binaries in the future. To detect the gravitational waves and elucidate the properties of their sources, one needs theoretical waveform templates. These, in turn, require solving Einstein field equations, at least approximately. Approximate techniques like post-Newtonian theory and black-hole perturbation theory can produce waveforms that are accurate for certain phases of binaries evolution. Numerical relativity, on the other hand, can in principle produce accurate waveforms models for the full binary evolution. However, such simulations are computationally very expensive for the slow inspiral phase. To overcome this issue, we hybridized numerical relativity obtained by solving the Einstein field equations during the late-inspiral, plunge, and ringdown phase and post-Newtonian waveforms for the early-inspiral phase. Here we focus on hybridizing waveforms for precessing black-hole binaries. In this work we also developed a new tool to test the accuracy limits of approximate a binary black-hole spacetimes constructed using analytical approximate techniques. Our method is based on direct comparison to a numerically generated solution to the Einstein field equations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Black holes (Astronomy)--Mathematics; Double stars--Mathematics; Space and time--Mathematics

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Astrophysical Sciences and Technology (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


David Ross

Advisor/Committee Member

Yosef Zlochower

Advisor/Committee Member

Richard O'Shaughnessy


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes