Largely motivated by the development of highly sensitive gravitational-wave detectors, our understanding of merging compact binaries and the gravitational waves they generate has improved dramatically in recent years. Breakthroughs in numerical relativity now allow us to model the coalescence of two black holes with no approximations or simplifications. There has also been outstanding progress in our analytical understanding of binaries. We review these developments, examining merging binaries using black hole perturbation theory, post-Newtonian expansions, and direct numerical integration of the field equations. We summarize these approaches and what they have taught us about gravitational waves from compact binaries. We place these results in the context of gravitational-wave generating systems, analyzing the impact gravitational-wave emission has on their sources, as well as what we can learn about them from direct gravitational-wave measurements.

[Erratum, Closure]

An erratum has been published for this article:
Gravitational Waves from Merging Compact Binaries

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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