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Colloquium: Numerical Investigations of Black Hole Physics

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Frans Pretorius, Princeton University
30 October 2014 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
117 Osmond Laboratory
Contact Name
Eugenio Bianchi
Contact Phone
(814) 865-3147
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The class of spacetimes with event horizons contain some of the most

fascinating solutions to the equations of general relativity. Over

the past few years numerical simulations have begun to reveal their

properties in highly dynamical, non-linear regimes not amenable to exact

analytical or perturbative treatments. In this talk, I will describe some of what

has been learnt, focusing on problems of arguably more theoretical

interest (in contrast to astrophysical binary black hole mergers, of relevance to

gravitational wave detection). Topics covered will include (i) the ultra-relativistic

limit of black hole collisions and its connection to black hole

formation in super-Planck scale particle collisions, (ii) the

instability of a 5-dimensional black string, its connection

to an unstable fluid flow, and what it implies about Penroses' cosmic

censorship conjecture, and (iii) the dynamics of black holes in

asymptotically Anti de-Sitter (AdS) spacetime and their connection

to relativistic hydrodynamics.