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You are here: Home Science & Projects Deisa Extreme Computing Initiative Projects 2010 - 2011 The dynamics of black holes: testing the limits of Einsteins theory

The dynamics of black holes: testing the limits of Einsteins theory

Project DyBHo
Research Area Astro Sciences
Principal Investigator(s) Vitor Cardoso
  • Instituto Superior T351cnico, Portugal
  • Universita di Roma la Sapienza, Department of Physics, Italy
  • Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA


From astrophysics to high-energy physics and quantum gravity, black holes (BHs) have acquired an ever increasing role in fundamental physics. From an as trophysical perspective, it has been established that supermassive BHs lurk at the center of many galaxies and provide fertile ground for stellar growth an d evolution. Millions of stellar-mass BHs populate the galaxies, power violent processes such as gamma-ray bursts and represent the strongest source of gra vitational waves to be observed with interferometers such as LIGO, VIRGO and the planned space mission LISA. In high-energy physics, the gauge-gravity dual ity has created a powerful framework for the study of strongly coupled gauge theories and lead to applications in connection with the experimental program on heavy ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and CERNs Large Hadron Collider (LHC), among many others. BHs play a special role in the duality; for instance, the confinement/deconfinement phase transition in QCD may be related to the Hawking-Page phase transition of BHs in anti-de Sitt er space-times. Given the central role that BHs have been claiming in physics, a major task for theoreticians is to understand processes in which they are involved. With the advent of techniques to evolve BH spacetimes numerically,the field is undergoing a phase transition from a promising branch of general relativity to one of the most exciting fields in 21st century research, one that will open up unprecedented opportunities to expand and test our understand ing of fundamental physics and the universe. The goal of this project is the numerical evolution of BHs in generic backgrounds, in a fully non-linear fra mework. We focus our investigations on high-energy collisions of BHs and on the evolution of astrophysical spinning binaries in quasi-circular orbits. The former are of fundamental importance in high-energy particle collisions, specifically for event generators, which will use data from accelerators to test T eV-scale gravity. Accurate, long-term waveforms of astrophysical binaries of spinning BHs, on the other hand, are important for data analysis of gravitatio nal-wave detectors. The list of further studies facilitated by our simulations ranges from tests of the cosmic censorship to an understanding of the stabil ity and phase diagrams of black objects in generic spacetimes

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