Topological data analysis of black hole images

Pierre Christian, Chi Kwan Chan, Anthony Hsu, Feryal Özel, Dimitrios Psaltis, Iniyan Natarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Features such as photon rings, jets, or hot spots can leave particular topological signatures in a black hole image. As such, topological data analysis can be used to characterize images resulting from high-resolution observations (synthetic or real) of black holes in the electromagnetic sector. We demonstrate that persistent homology allows for this characterization to be made automatically by counting the number of connected components and one-dimensional holes. Further, persistent homology also allows for the distance between connected components or the diameter of holes to be extracted from the image. In order to apply persistent homology on synthetic black hole images, we also introduce metronization, a new algorithm to prepare black hole images in a form that is suitable for topological analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023017
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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