Progress in gravitational self-force theory: recent advances in modelling asymmetric binaries


As gravitational-wave detectors become more sensitive to lower frequencies, they will increasingly detect binaries with smaller mass ratios, larger spins, and higher eccentricities. In this talk I describe how gravitational self-force theory, when combined with a method of multiscale expansions, provides an ideal framework for modelling these systems. The framework proceeds from first principles while simultaneously enabling rapid generation of waveforms on a timescale of milliseconds. I discuss the state of the art in this method: nonspinning, quasicircular waveforms at second perturbative order in the mass ratio. I present progress toward extending this second-order model to include spins and to include the final merger and ringdown. I also discuss the domain of validity of these models, focusing on their accuracy for mass ratios in the intermediate regime ~1:10 to 1:100.