Presentation #200.01 in the session Galaxy Dynamics 2: Black Holes and Dark Matter.
General relativity is the backbone of modern physics. Thus, the limited tests of its veracity are essential for advancing the field. An extremely important test comes from the extreme mass ratio inspiral (EMRI) scenario, in which a smaller body spirals into a black hole at least ten thousand times more massive. When the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) launches, it will be able to pick up the gravitational waves (GWs) coming from EMRI events where the larger body is a supermassive black hole (SMBH), such as in the galactic center. However, galactic centers are crowded, leading to perturbations of the EMRI system and, therefore, changing the emitted GWs. The most significant change comes when an object further out enters into a resonance with the inspiraling body. Our goal with this project is to develop a method of quantifying the effects of resonance on the inspiraling body’s orbit. This will be used to create a hierarchy of resonant interactions graded by strength which, when paired with data from LISA, can describe dynamics near galactic centers as well as distinguish perturbations caused by resonances from perturbations caused by deviations from general relativity.