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Bald Black Holes Wearing Wigs

27 Jul 2017, 14:00 UTC
Bald Black Holes Wearing Wigs
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Title: No-Hair Theorem for Black Holes in Astrophysical EnvironmentsAuthors: Norman GürlebeckFirst Author’s Institution: University of BremenStatus: Physical Review D, open accessThe No-Hair Theorem is a conjecture about the simplicity of black holes. They are called “bald” to reflect the paucity of information necessary to characterise their spacetime – only three parameters at most are needed. The theorem is formulated to describe isolated black holes. A realistic black hole will almost invariably be distorted by its astrophysical environment, e.g. a binary companion, surrounding plasma, accretion disks, or nearby jets. It seems possible that in these cases, the black hole could grow hair and the No-Hair Theorem would break down.However, this paper shows that the distortions from the surrounding environment do not imply the black hole now has hair. Although our observations of the spacetime an infinite distance from the black hole do change, this is solely due to the external neighbourhood around the black hole, not the distorted black hole itself. In the words of Norman Gürlebeck, the author of this paper:

“Thus, even though the black hole might put on a wig it still looks bald.”

The No-Hair Theorem remains valid in this more general context: even when engulfed by ...

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