Date of Graduation
Master of Science in Physics (MS)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Pure sciences; Black hole orbits; General relativity
A binary black hole system, where each black hole orbits the system's center of mass, loses energy by emission of gravitational waves. This causes both black holes to spiral in towards each other. However, if the binary were to, by some mechanism, gain orbital energy at the same rate that it radiates away this energy, a non-decaying or “floating” orbit would result. The thesis uses superradiant scattering and tidal friction, which are two equivalent ways of looking at a process by which the system can gain orbital energy from the spin energy of either black hole, to determine the possibility of a floating orbit. It turns out that, for extreme mass ratio binary black holes in circular equatorial orbits, the energy radiated away comfortably exceeds the combined energy gained from the spin of both black holes. Thus, the thesis concludes that circular equatorial floating orbits generated via superradiant scattering/tidal friction are not possible.
Kapadia, Shasvath Jagat, "Exploring the Possibility of Floating Orbits for Extreme Mass Ratio Binary Black Holes" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 291.