Transient instability of rapidly rotating black holes

Samuel E. Gralla, Aaron Zimmerman, Peter Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We analytically study the linear response of a near-extremal Kerr black hole to external scalar, electromagnetic, and gravitational field perturbations. We show that the energy density, electromagnetic field strength, and tidal force experienced by infalling observers exhibit transient growth near the horizon. The growth lasts arbitrarily long in the extremal limit, reproducing the horizon instability of extremal Kerr. We explain these results in terms of near-horizon geometry and discuss potential astrophysical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number084017
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 13 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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