Inspiral into Gargantua

Samuel E. Gralla, Scott A. Hughes, Niels Warburton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We model the inspiral of a compact object into a more massive black hole rotating very near the theoretical maximum. We find that once the body enters the near-horizon regime the gravitational radiation is characterized by a constant frequency, equal to (twice) the horizon frequency, with an exponentially damped profile. This contrasts with the usual 'chirping' behavior and, if detected, would constitute a 'smoking gun' for a near-extremal black hole in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155002
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number15
StatePublished - Jul 5 2016


  • black holes
  • extremal spin
  • gravitational waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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