Black hole fusion made easy

Speaker: Roberto Emparan, ICC-UB

Speaker arrival: 21/04/2016

Speaker departure: 22/04/2016

Assigned office: 23

Title: Black hole fusion made easy

Place: Seminario del Dpto Física Teórica y del Cosmos

Date: 21/04/2016

Time: 15:00

The fusion of two black holes --- a signature phenomenon of General Relativity --- is usually regarded as a process so complex that nothing short of a supercomputer simulation can accurately capture it. In this talk I will explain how the event horizon of the merger can be found in an exact analytic way in the limit where one of the black holes is much smaller than the other. Remarkably, the ideas and techniques involved are elementary: the equivalence principle, null geodesics in the Schwarzschild solution, and the notion of event horizon itself. With these, one can study the detailed structure of the horizon, and find indications of universal critical behavior when the two black holes touch.