Abstract:
The inspirals of ``small'' ($1 - 100 M_\odot$) compact bodies through highly relativistic orbits of massive (several $\times 10^5 M_\odot -$ several $\times 10^6 M_\odot$) black holes are among the most anticipated sources for the LISA gravitational-wave antenna. The measurement of these waves is expected to map the spacetime of the larger body with high precision, allowing us to test in detail the hypothesis that black hole candidates are described by the Kerr metric of general relativity. In this article, we will briefly describe how these sources can be used to perform such a test. These proposed measurements are often described as ``testing relativity''. This description is at best somewhat glib: Because -- at least to date -- all work related to these measurements assumes general relativity as the theoretical framework in which these tests are performed, the measurements cannot be said to ``test relativity'' in a fundamental way. More accurately, they test the {\it nature of massive compact bodies within general relativity}. A surprising result for such a test could point to deviations from general relativity, and would provide an experimentally motivated direction in which to pursue tests of gravity theories beyond GR.

Abstract:
We perform the first fully nonlinear numerical simulations of black-hole binaries with mass ratios 100:1. Our technique for evolving such extreme mass ratios is based on the moving puncture approach with a new gauge condition and an optimal choice of the mesh refinement (plus large computational resources). We achieve a convergent set of results for simulations starting with a small nonspinning black hole just outside the ISCO that then performs over two orbits before plunging into the 100 times more massive black hole. We compute the gravitational energy and momenta radiated as well as the final remnant parameters and compare these quantities with the corresponding perturbative estimates. The results show a close agreement. We briefly discuss the relevance of this simulations for Advanced LIGO, third-generation ground based detectors, and LISA observations, and self-force computations.

Abstract:
The capture of compact stellar remnants by galactic black holes provides a unique laboratory for exploring the near horizon geometry of the Kerr spacetime, or possible departures from general relativity if the central cores prove not to be black holes. The gravitational radiation produced by these Extreme Mass Ratio Inspirals (EMRIs) encodes a detailed map of the black hole geometry, and the detection and characterization of these signals is a major scientific goal for the LISA mission. The waveforms produced are very complex, and the signals need to be coherently tracked for hundreds to thousands of cycles to produce a detection, making EMRI signals one of the most challenging data analysis problems in all of gravitational wave astronomy. Estimates for the number of templates required to perform an exhaustive grid-based matched-filter search for these signals are astronomically large, and far out of reach of current computational resources. Here I describe an alternative approach that employs a hybrid between Genetic Algorithms and Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques, along with several time saving techniques for computing the likelihood function. This approach has proven effective at the blind extraction of relatively weak EMRI signals from simulated LISA data sets.

Abstract:
We investigate the motion of test bodies with internal structure in General Relativity. With the help of a multipolar approximation method for extended test bodies we derive the equations of motion up to the quadrupolar order. The motion of pole-dipole and quadrupole test bodies is studied in the context of the Kerr geometry. For an explicit quadrupole model, which includes spin and tidal interactions, the motion in the equatorial plane is characterized by an effective potential and by the binding energy. We compare our findings to recent results for the conservative part of the self-force of bodies in extreme mass ratio situations. Possible implications for gravitational wave physics are outlined.

Abstract:
The inspirals of compact objects into massive black holes are some of the most exciting of the potential sources of gravitational waves for the planned Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). Observations of such extreme mass ratio inspirals (EMRIs) will not only reveal to us the properties of black holes in the Universe, but will allow us to verify that the space-time structure around massive compact objects agrees with the predictions of relativity. Detection of EMRI signals via matched filtering and interpretation of the observations will require models of the gravitational waveforms. The extreme mass ratio allows accurate waveforms to be computed from black hole perturbation theory, but this is computationally expensive and has not yet been fully developed. Ongoing research to scope out LISA data analysis algorithms requires waveforms that can be generated quickly in large numbers. To fulfil this purpose, families of approximate, "kludge", EMRI waveforms have been developed that capture the main features of true EMRI waveforms, but that can also be generated for a comparatively small computational cost. In this proceedings article, we briefly outline one such waveform family (the "numerical kludge"), its accuracy and some possible ways in which it might be improved in the future. Although accurate parameter extraction will require use of perturbative waveforms, these approximate waveforms are sufficiently faithful to the true waveforms that they may be able to play a role in detection of EMRIs in the LISA data.

Abstract:
A new implementation for magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations in full general relativity (involving dynamical spacetimes) is presented. In our implementation, Einstein's evolution equations are evolved by a BSSN formalism, MHD equations by a high-resolution central scheme, and induction equation by a constraint transport method. We perform numerical simulations for standard test problems in relativistic MHD, including special relativistic magnetized shocks, general relativistic magnetized Bondi flow in stationary spacetime, and a longterm evolution for self-gravitating system composed of a neutron star and a magnetized disk in full general relativity. In the final test, we illustrate that our implementation can follow winding-up of the magnetic field lines of magnetized and differentially rotating accretion disks around a compact object until saturation, after which magnetically driven wind and angular momentum transport inside the disk turn on.

Abstract:
Extreme-mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs), stellar-mass compact objects (SCOs) inspiralling into a massive black hole, are one of the main sources of gravitational waves expected for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). To extract the EMRI signals from the expected LISA data stream, which will also contain the instrumental noise as well as other signals, we need very accurate theoretical templates of the gravitational waves that they produce. In order to construct those templates we need to account for the gravitational backreaction, that is, how the gravitational field of the SCO affects its own trajectory. In general relativity, the backreaction can be described in terms of a local self-force, and the foundations to compute it have been laid recently. Due to its complexity, some parts of the calculation of the self-force have to be performed numerically. Here, we report on an ongoing effort towards the computation of the self-force based on time-domain multi-grid pseudospectral methods.

Abstract:
We investigate the possibility of sustained orbital resonances in extreme mass ratio inspirals. Using a near-identity averaging transformation, we reduce the equations of motion for a particle moving in Kerr spacetime with self-force corrections in the neighbourhood of a resonant geodesic to a one dimensional equation for a particle moving in an effective potential. From this effective equation we obtain the necessary and sufficient conditions that the self-force needs to satisfy to allow inspiralling orbits to be captured in sustained resonance. Along the way we also obtain the full non-linear expression for the jump in the adiabatic constants of motion incurred as an inspiral transiently evolves through a strong resonance to first-order in the mass ratio. Finally, we find that if the resonance is strong enough to allow capture in sustained resonance, only a small fraction (order of the square root of mass-ratio) of all inspirals will indeed be captured. This makes observation of sustained resonances in EMRIs---if they exist---very unlikely for space based observatories like eLisa.

Abstract:
We describe a new kludge scheme to model the dynamics of generic extreme-mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs; stellar compact objects spiraling into a spinning supermassive black hole) and their gravitational-wave emission. The Chimera scheme is a hybrid method that combines tools from different approximation techniques in General Relativity: (i) A multipolar, post-Minkowskian expansion for the far-zone metric perturbation (the gravitational waveforms) and for the local prescription of the self-force; (ii) a post-Newtonian expansion for the computation of the multipole moments in terms of the trajectories; and (iii) a BH perturbation theory expansion when treating the trajectories as a sequence of self-adjusting Kerr geodesics. The EMRI trajectory is made out of Kerr geodesic fragments joined via the method of osculating elements as dictated by the multipolar post-Minkowskian radiation-reaction prescription. We implemented the proper coordinate mapping between Boyer-Lindquist coordinates, associated with the Kerr geodesics, and harmonic coordinates, associated with the multipolar post-Minkowskian decomposition. The Chimera scheme is thus a combination of approximations that can be used to model generic inspirals of systems with extreme to intermediate mass ratios, and hence, it can provide valuable information for future space-based gravitational-wave observatories, like LISA, and even for advanced ground detectors. The local character in time of our multipolar post-Minkowskian self-force makes this scheme amenable to study the possible appearance of transient resonances in generic inspirals.

Abstract:
The distribution of the ratio of the extreme latent roots of the Wishart matrix is useful in testing the sphericity hypothesis for a multivariate normal population. Let X be a p —n matrix whose columns are distributed independently as multivariate normal with zero mean vector and covariance matrix ￠ ‘. Further, let S=XX ￠ € 2 and let 11> ￠ € |>1p>0 be the characteristic roots of S. Thus S has a noncentral Wishart distribution. In this paper, the exact distribution of fp=1 ￠ ’1p/11 is derived. The density of fp is given in terms of zonal polynomials. These results have applications in nuclear physics also.