Seminar Series

Black hole bombs: hairy black holes as possible end-points of superradiant instabilities


Professor Elizabeth Winstanley


Erskine visitor with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, UC from the School of Mathematics and Statistics at The University of Sheffield

Time & Place

Fri, 04 Mar 2016 11:00:00 NZDT in Room 701, Level 7, Rutherford Building

All are welcome


Energy can be extracted from rotating black holes by the superradiant reflection of classical scalar field waves.   If the rotating black hole is enclosed in a cavity, repeated reflection of superradiant waves leads to an instability known as the "black hole bomb".   A natural question is what happens to the black hole bomb, that is, what is the ultimate black hole configuration?

For a rotating black hole, this question is very difficult to answer, so in this seminar we consider a simpler system.  Superradiance also occurs for charged scalar field waves incident on a charged black hole, and there is a black hole bomb instability if the black hole is inside a reflecting mirror.  

We present black holes with charged scalar field hair and describe recent evidence that these are possible end-points of the charge-superradiant instability.

We discuss the implications of this result for rotating black holes.