Horizon Shells: Classical Structure at the Horizon of a Black Hole

Tuesday, 5 April, 2016

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We address the question of the uniqueness of the Schwarzschild black hole by considering the following question: How many meaningful solutions of the Einstein equations exist that agree with the Schwarzschild solution (with a fixed mass m) everywhere except maybe on a codimension one hypersurface? The perhaps surprising answer is that the solution is unique (and uniquely the Schwarzschild solution everywhere in spacetime) *unless* the hypersurface is the event horizon of the Schwarzschild black hole, in which case there are actually an infinite number of distinct solutions. We explain this result and comment on some of the possible implications for black hole physics.


Matthias Blau
Martin O'Loughlin