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**Prelim Exam**

Kyle Slinker, UNC-CH

**“Improved Initial Data for Numerical Relativity Simulations of Black Holes”**

The next generation of gravitational wave observatories is expected to detect mergers of compact objects. A community of researchers numerically models such encounters, in part to produce gravitational waveforms to assist detection efforts. Many of these researchers use the Einstein Toolkit, a powerful open source infrastructure, to model the interactions of black holes. Before a numerical model can be evolved, initial data must be computed. Unfortunately, state of the art initial data available to the Einstein Toolkit contains unwanted transients which prohibit modeling black holes with large initial spin or velocity. Additionally, separating the transients from the physical signal requires evolving models for longer durations over larger spatial domains. New initial data could therefore lead to more efficient modeling, as a smaller computational problem can be solved. Using trumpet slicing adapted to the Einstein Toolkit’s preferred gauge choice, we are developing a new initial data prescription which should contain lower amplitude transients.