I work primarily in vacuum numerical relativity, simulating the merger of comparable-mass black-hole binaries. In the absence of matter, these events are electromagnetically dark, but produce fantastic amounts of energy in the form of gravitational radiation -- up to ~ 10^56 erg/s at merger peak. A network of ground-based interferometric detectors has been built in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, hoping to directly detect the gravitational waves (GWs) characteristic of the merger of comparable-mass compact bodies. These detectors need a mesh of accurate numerical waveform templates to extract GWs from the datastream, and infer the orbital properties of the astrophysical system that produced it. Developing these templates is my primary research focus.
Improved radiation extraction methods through the use of curvature invariants.
Development of GW templates for comparable-mass spinning black-hole binaries.
Development of improved numerical initial data for black-hole-binary evolutions, incorporating gravitational waves.
Characterization of recoil "kick" of post-merger black holes due to asymmetric emission of radiation.