Scaling and universality in extremal black hole perturbations

Samuel E. Gralla, Peter Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We show that the emergent near-horizon conformal symmetry of extremal black holes gives rise to universal behavior in perturbing fields, both near and far from the black hole horizon. The scale-invariance of the near-horizon region entails power law time-dependence with three universal features: (1) the decay off the horizon is always precisely twice as fast as the decay on the horizon; (2) the special rates of 1/t off the horizon and 1/v on the horizon commonly occur; and (3) sufficiently high-order transverse derivatives grow on the horizon (Aretakis instability). The results are simply understood in terms of near-horizon (AdS2) holography. We first show how the general features follow from symmetry alone and then go on to present the detailed universal behavior of scalar, electromagnetic, and gravitational perturbations of d-dimensional electrovacuum black holes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number61
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • AdS-CFT Correspondence
  • Black Holes
  • Black Holes in String Theory
  • Conformal and W Symmetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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