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Physics  2014 

Gravitational waves from the collision of tidally disrupted stars with massive black holes

DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/795/2/135

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We use simulations of hydrodynamics coupled with full general relativity to investigate the gravitational waves produced by a star colliding with a massive black hole when the star's tidal disruption radius lies far outside of the black hole horizon. We consider both main-sequence and white-dwarf compaction stars, and nonspinning black holes, as well as those with near-extremal spin. We study the regime in between where the star can be accurately modeled by a point particle, and where tidal effects completely suppress the gravitational wave signal. We find that nonnegligible gravitational waves can be produced even when the star is strongly affected by tidal forces, as well as when it collides with large angular momentum. We discuss the implications that these results have for the potential observation of gravitational waves from these sources with future detectors.


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