Hidden momentum and black hole kicks

Samuel E. Gralla, Frank Herrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A stationary magnetic dipole immersed in an electric field carries 'hidden' mechanical momentum. However, the fate of this momentum if the fields are turned off is unclear. We consider a charge-and-dipole hidden momentum configuration, and turn off the fields by collapsing a null shell onto the system, forming a black hole. In numerical calculations we find that the black hole receives a kick corresponding to 0.1% of the initial stored momentum. When extrapolated to apply to purely gravitational phenomena, this efficiency suggests a role for the hidden momentum kick mechanism in generating the binary black hole 'superkicks' observed in numerical simulations of Einstein's equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205009
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 21 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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