Abstract:Black holes play a central role in our understanding of general relativity, the currently accepted classical theory of gravity. The recent discovery of gravitational waves by the Ligo-Virgo collaboration confirmed their existence in Nature. But the importance of four dimensional black holes to describe some of the observed compact dark objects in the Universe hinges on their dynamical stability under small perturbations. In recent years, motivated by more fundamental theories of gravity such as string theory, there has been a lot of interest in the community to study black holes in spacetimes with more than four spacetime dimensions. In this talk I will show that in dimensions higher than four, black holes can be dynamically unstable. Furthermore, I will present results of numerical simulations of these instabilities in full non-linear regime that suggest that unstable horizons develop a fractal structure that leads to a naked singularity in finite time. Moreover, I will argue that the mechanism behind these instabilities is universal. These results provide evidence that the weak cosmic censorship conjecture, which is the greatest unsolved problem in general relativity, is false in spacetimes with more than four dimensions.
Sep 2015 – present: Lecturer in Relativity, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London.
Sep 2015 – present: Visiting professor, DAMTP University of Cambridge, UK.
Oct 2013 – present: Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, UK.
Oct 2013 – Sep 2015: Stephen Hawking Advanced Postdoctoral research fellow at DAMTP, University of Cambridge, UK.
Jan 2011 – Oct 2013: College research associate, Jesus College, Cambridge, UK.
Oct 2010 – Sep 2013: EPSRC postdoctoral research fellow in DAMTP, University of Cambridge, UK.
Oct 2003 – Sep 2010: Research associate at the Mathematical Sciences Dep., Durham University, UK.
General relativity, higher dimensional black holes and numerical general relativity
P. Figueras, M. Kunesch and S. Tunyasuvunakool, “End Point of Black Ring Instabilities and the Weak Cosmic Censorship Conjecture”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 071102 (2016)
P. Figueras and T. Wiseman, "Stationary holographic plasma quenches and numerical methods for non-Killing horizons," Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 171602 (2013)
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P. Figueras, K. Murata and H.S. Reall, "Black hole instabilities and local Penrose inequalities", Classical and Quantum Gravity 28, 225030 (2011)
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P. Figueras, "A black ring with a rotating 2-sphere", JHEP 0507, 039 (2007)