Black-hole kicks from numerical-relativity surrogate models

Davide Gerosa, François Hébert, Leo C. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
134 Downloads (Pure)


Binary black holes radiate linear momentum in gravitational waves as they merge. Recoils imparted to the black-hole remnant can reach thousands of km /s , thus ejecting black holes from their host galaxies. We exploit recent advances in gravitational waveform modeling to quickly and reliably extract recoils imparted to generic, precessing, black-hole binaries. Our procedure uses a numerical-relativity surrogate model to obtain the gravitational waveform given a set of binary parameters; then, from this waveform we directly integrate the gravitational-wave linear momentum flux. This entirely bypasses the need for fitting formulas which are typically used to model black-hole recoils in astrophysical contexts. We provide a thorough exploration of the black-hole kick phenomenology in the parameter space, summarizing and extending previous numerical results on the topic. Our extraction procedure is made publicly available as a module for the Python programming language named surrkick. Kick evaluations take ̃0.1 s on a standard off-the-shelf machine, thus making our code ideal to be ported to large-scale astrophysical studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104049
JournalPhysical Review D
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2018


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