Since interactions between three objects such as stars, planets, or black holes cannot be predicted using an elegant formula, Moerman used a computer that always calculated what happened for a short period of time and then used that result for the next period of time. In this way, computers also make weather forecasts.
Simulations show that lighter black holes usually spit out each other, while heavier black holes essentially merge. Black holes that are lighter than about 10 million solar masses usually ditch each other in simulations. Black holes weighing more than about 10 million solar masses are merged. The first two, later the third black hole. This merger occurs because black holes lose kinetic energy and that, in turn, emits gravitational waves.
Portegies Zwart is proud of his pupil, which he describes as an intelligent bird. “Moormann’s research, which has been going on for a year, is very detail-oriented, is independent, and has yielded a scientifically interesting result. Moreover, he is also a humble and humble boy.”
Moerman was looking for a graduate subject at the interface of astronomy, mathematics, and computer science. Portegies supervisor Zwart offered him the opportunity for this group. “Coding attracted me,” Moorman says on his university’s website. “At first it wasn’t clear what to do. I had to build the theory of relativity into existing code, but how and what has yet to be determined. But this is what made it interesting: it gave me the freedom to find what I found interesting and to simulate it” .
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