Beyond second-order convergence in simulations of binary neutron stars in full general relativity

David Radice, Luciano Rezzolla, Filippo Galeazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Despite the recent rapid progress in numerical relativity, a convergence order less than the second has so far plagued codes solving the Einstein-Euler system of equations. We report simulations of the inspiral of binary neutron stars in quasi-circular orbits computed with a new code employing high-order, high-resolution shock-capturing, finite-differencing schemes that, for the first time, go beyond the second-order barrier. In particular, without any tuning or alignment, we measure a convergence order above three both in the phase and in the amplitude of the gravitational waves. Because the new code is already able to calculate waveforms with very small phase errors at modest resolutions, we are able to obtain accurate estimates of tidal effects in the inspiral that are essentially free from the large numerical viscosity typical of lower order methods, and even for the challenging large compactness and small-deformability binary considered here.We find a remarkable agreement between our Richardson-extrapolated waveform and the one from the tidally corrected post-Newtonian (PN) Taylor-T4 model, with a de-phasing smaller than 0.4 rad during the seven orbits of the inspiral and up to the contact point. Because our results can be used reliably to assess the validity of the PN or other approximations at frequencies significantly larger than those considered so far in the literature, at these compactnesses, they seem to exclude significant tidal amplifications from next to next-to-leading-order terms in the PN expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberslt137
Pages (from-to)L46-L50
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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