Review

Fundamentals of numerical relativity for gravitational wave sources

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Science  27 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6400, pp. 366-371
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat3363

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Abstract

Einstein’s theory of general relativity affords an enormously successful description of gravity. The theory encodes the gravitational interaction in the metric, a tensor field on spacetime that satisfies partial differential equations known as the Einstein equations. This review introduces some of the fundamental concepts of numerical relativity—solving the Einstein equations on the computer—in simple terms. As a primary example, we consider the solution of the general relativistic two-body problem, which features prominently in the new field of gravitational wave astronomy.

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