Evolutionary Clues Revealed By Black-Hole Event Horizons


One of the most important predictions of Einstein's theory of General Relativity is the existence of black holes as regions in which the space and time are distorted so that nothing can escape them. Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have now provided a rigorous way of determining the evolutionary stage of a black hole by analyzing the the event horizon -the region outside where matter (or information) cannot escape.

Dr Thomas Bäckdahl and Dr Juan A. Valiente Kroon at Queen Mary's School of Mathematical Sciences have developed a method based on properties of the Kerr solution, one of the few exact solutions to the equations of General Relativity, that describes a rotating, stationary (time-independent) black hole. It is also proposed that it describes the final evolutionary stage of any dynamical (time-dependent) black hole.

"By looking at the region outside the black hole we have shown how to ascertain how much a dynamical black hole differs from the Kerr solution. There are very strong indications that the end state of the evolution of a black hole is described by this solution," according to Dr Valiente Kroon, an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow.

The ideas developed in the article may be of relevance in developing numerical simulations of black holes, an area of research that has experienced a great development in recent years. Due to the complexity of the equations of General Relativity, these simulations are the only way of systematically exploring the theory in realistic scenarios.

Casey Kazan via Queen Mary, University of London

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