Spinning Black Holes May Grow Hair

Spinning Black Holes May Grow Hair VIEWPOINT A spinning black hole may lose up to 9% of its mass by spontaneously growing ``hair'' in the form of excitations of a hypothetical particle eld with a tiny mass. by Sam Dolan ew simulations of the dynamics of spinning black holes by William East from the Perimeter Insti- tute for Theoretical Physics, Canada, and Frans N Pretorius from Princeton University, New Jersey [1], have shed light on an intriguing possibility. If there ex- ists in nature a bosonic particle with an exceptionally small 10 2 mass (< 10 eV/c ), then a black hole may spontaneously grow “long hair,” in the form of highly amplified excitations of the field that are trapped in the vicinity of the black hole (Fig. 1). The finding suggests that black holes may grow hair that is long-lived and extends well beyond the black hole event horizon. This conclusion poses a challenge to the cher- ished “no-hair ” paradigm. It also raises the possibility that black holes with hair, if they exist, may one day be detected via their gravitational-wave signatures. The new work is rooted in two influential ideas about Figure 1: New work by East and Pretorius [1] suggests that a black holes from the early 1970s, as popularized by John spinning black hole (black) can rapidly amplify the trapped modes Wheeler and Roger Penrose. “A black hole has no hair,” of an ultralight bosonic eld (red), to reach a quasistable ``hairy'' claimed Wheeler in 1971. Howsoever it comes into being, conguration, which decays slowly by emission of gravitational a black hole is expected to quickly settle into a stationary waves (blue). (APS/Alan Stonebraker) state that is described by just three quantities: mass, angular momentum, and charge. All other degrees of freedom—for which hair is a metaphor—are quickly radiated away or ab- cle. In similar fashion, an electromagnetic wave reflecting off sorbed. In the classical theory, the black hole retains no a spinning black hole may be boosted by extracting energy detailed memory of that which it has swallowed. Remark- and angular momentum from the black hole, in a process ably, the no-hair paradigm gained experimental support last called black hole superradiance. year, through the first gravitational-wave event detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory In 1972, researchers suggested [2] that a runaway process (LIGO). The “chirp” signal seen at LIGO appears to con- called a black hole bomb would be triggered if superra- firm that when two black holes coalesce, they produce a new diance were repeatedly reflected back onto the black hole. black hole that, after a rapid relaxation, differs from its pro- Such a process may arise spontaneously if there exists in genitors only through its mass and spin (see 31 May 2016 nature a field of bosonic particles with a very light mass, be- Viewpoint). cause certain modes of the field will become trapped within the black hole’s gravitational potential well [3]. It turns out Penrose’s insight was that, in principle, the mass and spin that long-wavelength, co-spinning modes of the field can in a black hole can be unleashed to drive powerful pro- grow exponentially in amplitude, via superradiance, until cesses, such as jets and quasars. In 1971, Penrose described the field becomes so strong that nonlinear effects—such as a thought experiment in which a black hole transfers some the extra curvature of spacetime—start to play a significant of its energy and angular momentum into a scattered parti- role [4]. For this to happen on a reasonable time scale of a few years or less, the mass of the bosonic field must be so School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Shefeld, very small that the Compton wavelength of the field, which Shefeld S3 7RH, United Kingdom is inversely proportional to the particles’ mass, is compa- physics.aps.org 2017 American Physical Society 24 July 2017 Physics 10, 83 rable to the horizon radius of the black hole itself [5]. For duce both a stochastic background and resolvable events example, a solar-mass black hole would be sensitive to a par- that might be detected by LIGO and the (future) spaced- based mission LISA. Forthcoming gravitational-wave data ticle approximately 10 times lighter than the electron. may put strong constraints on the existence of ultralight For now, all this remains hypothetical, but researchers 11 14 2 have ways to test the idea. Over the last decade, it has been fields with masses in the ranges  10 – 10 eV/c 15 19 2 argued that spinning black holes may act as sensitive probes (LIGO) and  10 – 10 eV/c (LISA) [10]. It’s an intrigu- of new physics [6]. Speculatively, astronomers could seek ing prospect—using gravitational-wave detectors to look for to infer the existence of ultralight bosons—such as a QCD fundamental bosons—especially in an era in which the cost axion, the string axiverse, or a “fuzzy” dark matter parti- of the next-generation particle accelerator may prove pro- cle—by searching the heavens for the signature of a black hibitive. hole bomb [7]. But what exactly should one look for? The new work by East and Pretorius addresses this central This research is published in Physical Review Letters. question. The researchers numerically simulated the growth of a black hole bomb in the nonlinear regime to determine its REFERENCES final fate. It had been suggested that the black hole would [1] W. E. East and F. Pretorius, ``Superradiant Instability and Back- expel the field in an explosive outflow of mass and energy reaction of Massive Vector Fields around Kerr Black Holes,'' called a bosenova [8] and then begin a new cycle of growth. Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 041101 (2017). East and Pretorius’ simulations showed, by contrast, that [2] W. H. Press and S. A. Teukolsky, ``Floating Orbits, Superradiant the black hole can settle into a quasistable equilibrium with Scattering and the Black-hole Bomb,'' Nature 238, 211 (1972). the field. In the specific case of a vector boson field with a [3] T. Damour, N. Deruelle, and R. Rufni, ``On Quantum Reso- Compton wavelength comparable to the event-horizon ra- nances in Stationary Geometries,'' Lett. Nuovo Cimento 15, dius, they showed that up to 9% of the black hole’s mass 257 (1976). can be transferred to boost the gravitationally bound dipo- [4] H. Witek, V. Cardoso, A. Ishibashi, and U. Sperhake, ``Superra- lar modes of the surrounding bosonic field. In other words, diant Instabilities in Astrophysical Systems,'' Phys. Rev. D 87, a spinning black hole can grow “long hair ”; hair that is both 043513 (2013). long-lived (at least in comparison to the light-crossing time [5] S. R. Dolan, ``Instability of the Massive Klein-Gordon Field on the Kerr Spacetime,'' Phys. Rev. D 76, 084001 (2007). of the black hole) and that extends quite far outside the event [6] A. Arvanitaki, S. Dimopoulos, S. Dubovsky, N. Kaloper, and horizon. J. March-Russell, ``String Axiverse,'' Phys. Rev. D 81, 123530 A key lesson from East and Pretorius’ work is that a black (2010). hole bomb may not be explosive after all. Hair growth seems [7] P. Pani, V. Cardoso, L. Gualtieri, E. Berti, and A. Ishibashi, to occur in a remarkably smooth manner, and the runaway ``Black-Hole Bombs and Photon-Mass Bounds,'' Phys. Rev. phase comes to an end without any calamity. The final out- Lett. 109, 131102 (2012). come is a black hole embedded in a massive bosonic field [8] H. Yoshino and H. Kodama, ``Bosenova Collapse of Axion that is orbiting around the black hole at precisely the angu- Cloud around a Rotating Black Hole,'' Prog. Theor. Phys. 128, lar frequency of the black hole horizon. This sort of system is 153 (2012). conjectured to be part of the Herdeiro-Radu family of black [9] C. Herdeiro, E. Radu, and H. Rúnarsson, ``Kerr Black Holes with Proca Hair,'' Class. Quantum Grav. 33, 154001 (2016). holes with hair [9]. [10] R. Brito, S. Ghosh, E. Barausse, E. Berti, V. Cardoso, I. How might a black hole with hair be detected? A black Dvorkin, A. Klein, and P. Pani, ``Gravitational Wave Searches hole with hair is expected to radiate gravitational waves for Ultralight Bosons with LIGO and LISA,'' arXiv:1706.06311. at a rather monotonous frequency as it spins [6]. Such a steady hum coming from multiple black holes could pro- 10.1103/Physics.10.83 physics.aps.org 2017 American Physical Society 24 July 2017 Physics 10, 83 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Physics American Physical Society (APS)

Spinning Black Holes May Grow Hair

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Abstract

VIEWPOINT A spinning black hole may lose up to 9% of its mass by spontaneously growing ``hair'' in the form of excitations of a hypothetical particle eld with a tiny mass. by Sam Dolan ew simulations of the dynamics of spinning black holes by William East from the Perimeter Insti- tute for Theoretical Physics, Canada, and Frans N Pretorius from Princeton University, New Jersey [1], have shed light on an intriguing possibility. If there ex- ists in nature a bosonic particle with an exceptionally small 10 2 mass (< 10 eV/c ), then a black hole may spontaneously grow “long hair,” in the form of highly amplified excitations of the field that are trapped in the vicinity of the black hole (Fig. 1). The finding suggests that black holes may grow hair that is long-lived and extends well beyond the black hole event horizon. This conclusion poses a challenge to the cher- ished “no-hair ” paradigm. It also raises the possibility that black holes with hair, if they exist, may one day be detected via their gravitational-wave signatures. The new work is rooted in two influential ideas about Figure 1: New work by East and Pretorius [1] suggests that a black holes from the early 1970s, as popularized by John spinning black hole (black) can rapidly amplify the trapped modes Wheeler and Roger Penrose. “A black hole has no hair,” of an ultralight bosonic eld (red), to reach a quasistable ``hairy'' claimed Wheeler in 1971. Howsoever it comes into being, conguration, which decays slowly by emission of gravitational a black hole is expected to quickly settle into a stationary waves (blue). (APS/Alan Stonebraker) state that is described by just three quantities: mass, angular momentum, and charge. All other degrees of freedom—for which hair is a metaphor—are quickly radiated away or ab- cle. In similar fashion, an electromagnetic wave reflecting off sorbed. In the classical theory, the black hole retains no a spinning black hole may be boosted by extracting energy detailed memory of that which it has swallowed. Remark- and angular momentum from the black hole, in a process ably, the no-hair paradigm gained experimental support last called black hole superradiance. year, through the first gravitational-wave event detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory In 1972, researchers suggested [2] that a runaway process (LIGO). The “chirp” signal seen at LIGO appears to con- called a black hole bomb would be triggered if superra- firm that when two black holes coalesce, they produce a new diance were repeatedly reflected back onto the black hole. black hole that, after a rapid relaxation, differs from its pro- Such a process may arise spontaneously if there exists in genitors only through its mass and spin (see 31 May 2016 nature a field of bosonic particles with a very light mass, be- Viewpoint). cause certain modes of the field will become trapped within the black hole’s gravitational potential well [3]. It turns out Penrose’s insight was that, in principle, the mass and spin that long-wavelength, co-spinning modes of the field can in a black hole can be unleashed to drive powerful pro- grow exponentially in amplitude, via superradiance, until cesses, such as jets and quasars. In 1971, Penrose described the field becomes so strong that nonlinear effects—such as a thought experiment in which a black hole transfers some the extra curvature of spacetime—start to play a significant of its energy and angular momentum into a scattered parti- role [4]. For this to happen on a reasonable time scale of a few years or less, the mass of the bosonic field must be so School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Shefeld, very small that the Compton wavelength of the field, which Shefeld S3 7RH, United Kingdom is inversely proportional to the particles’ mass, is compa- physics.aps.org 2017 American Physical Society 24 July 2017 Physics 10, 83 rable to the horizon radius of the black hole itself [5]. For duce both a stochastic background and resolvable events example, a solar-mass black hole would be sensitive to a par- that might be detected by LIGO and the (future) spaced- based mission LISA. Forthcoming gravitational-wave data ticle approximately 10 times lighter than the electron. may put strong constraints on the existence of ultralight For now, all this remains hypothetical, but researchers 11 14 2 have ways to test the idea. Over the last decade, it has been fields with masses in the ranges  10 – 10 eV/c 15 19 2 argued that spinning black holes may act as sensitive probes (LIGO) and  10 – 10 eV/c (LISA) [10]. It’s an intrigu- of new physics [6]. Speculatively, astronomers could seek ing prospect—using gravitational-wave detectors to look for to infer the existence of ultralight bosons—such as a QCD fundamental bosons—especially in an era in which the cost axion, the string axiverse, or a “fuzzy” dark matter parti- of the next-generation particle accelerator may prove pro- cle—by searching the heavens for the signature of a black hibitive. hole bomb [7]. But what exactly should one look for? The new work by East and Pretorius addresses this central This research is published in Physical Review Letters. question. The researchers numerically simulated the growth of a black hole bomb in the nonlinear regime to determine its REFERENCES final fate. It had been suggested that the black hole would [1] W. E. East and F. Pretorius, ``Superradiant Instability and Back- expel the field in an explosive outflow of mass and energy reaction of Massive Vector Fields around Kerr Black Holes,'' called a bosenova [8] and then begin a new cycle of growth. Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 041101 (2017). East and Pretorius’ simulations showed, by contrast, that [2] W. H. Press and S. A. Teukolsky, ``Floating Orbits, Superradiant the black hole can settle into a quasistable equilibrium with Scattering and the Black-hole Bomb,'' Nature 238, 211 (1972). the field. In the specific case of a vector boson field with a [3] T. Damour, N. Deruelle, and R. Rufni, ``On Quantum Reso- Compton wavelength comparable to the event-horizon ra- nances in Stationary Geometries,'' Lett. Nuovo Cimento 15, dius, they showed that up to 9% of the black hole’s mass 257 (1976). can be transferred to boost the gravitationally bound dipo- [4] H. Witek, V. Cardoso, A. Ishibashi, and U. Sperhake, ``Superra- lar modes of the surrounding bosonic field. In other words, diant Instabilities in Astrophysical Systems,'' Phys. Rev. D 87, a spinning black hole can grow “long hair ”; hair that is both 043513 (2013). long-lived (at least in comparison to the light-crossing time [5] S. R. Dolan, ``Instability of the Massive Klein-Gordon Field on the Kerr Spacetime,'' Phys. Rev. D 76, 084001 (2007). of the black hole) and that extends quite far outside the event [6] A. Arvanitaki, S. Dimopoulos, S. Dubovsky, N. Kaloper, and horizon. J. March-Russell, ``String Axiverse,'' Phys. Rev. D 81, 123530 A key lesson from East and Pretorius’ work is that a black (2010). hole bomb may not be explosive after all. Hair growth seems [7] P. Pani, V. Cardoso, L. Gualtieri, E. Berti, and A. Ishibashi, to occur in a remarkably smooth manner, and the runaway ``Black-Hole Bombs and Photon-Mass Bounds,'' Phys. Rev. phase comes to an end without any calamity. The final out- Lett. 109, 131102 (2012). come is a black hole embedded in a massive bosonic field [8] H. Yoshino and H. Kodama, ``Bosenova Collapse of Axion that is orbiting around the black hole at precisely the angu- Cloud around a Rotating Black Hole,'' Prog. Theor. Phys. 128, lar frequency of the black hole horizon. This sort of system is 153 (2012). conjectured to be part of the Herdeiro-Radu family of black [9] C. Herdeiro, E. Radu, and H. Rúnarsson, ``Kerr Black Holes with Proca Hair,'' Class. Quantum Grav. 33, 154001 (2016). holes with hair [9]. [10] R. Brito, S. Ghosh, E. Barausse, E. Berti, V. Cardoso, I. How might a black hole with hair be detected? A black Dvorkin, A. Klein, and P. Pani, ``Gravitational Wave Searches hole with hair is expected to radiate gravitational waves for Ultralight Bosons with LIGO and LISA,'' arXiv:1706.06311. at a rather monotonous frequency as it spins [6]. Such a steady hum coming from multiple black holes could pro- 10.1103/Physics.10.83 physics.aps.org 2017 American Physical Society 24 July 2017 Physics 10, 83

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Published: Jul 24, 2017

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