SPEAKER: Thomas Osburn (Emory University)
ABSTRACT: The inspiral of a compact stellar-mass object (black hole, neutron star, or white dwarf) into a super-massive black hole is modeled perturbatively. All dissipative and conservative effects on the orbital motion are included up to first-order in the mass-ratio via the gravitational self-force. The interaction between the spin of the small body and the background tidal field is also modeled. To calculate the self-force, a number of advanced numerical tools were developed. These tools are able to describe highly eccentric orbital configurations for the first time. The accuracy is high enough to aid in the detection of gravitational waves while correctly determining the physical parameters of their source.