LIGO Document T1600279-v6

Measuring Kerrness in Binary Black Hole Simulation Ringdowns

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T - Technical notes
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After a single black hole forms from the merger of a black hole binary, it enters the ringdown phase, radiating away energy in gravitational waves until it settles into a stationary Kerr black hole. However, the point at which the resultant spacetime becomes close to Kerr has not yet been established. Furthermore, how close to the merger phase in a gravitational waveform can LIGO apply data analysis techniques that assume that the remnant black hole is Kerr (or a perturbation thereof)? In order to address these questions, it is helpful to consider local quantities which measure the similarity of a spacetime to Kerr. We evaluate several local measures of “Kerrness” on volume data from the ringdown phase of a binary black hole simulation of the GW150914 event using the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC). We also evaluate these quantities on single (Kerr) black hole simulations for validation.
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