Black hole discovery: Black holes have ‘hair’ formed under immense gravity

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Black holes continue to intrigue and mesmerise scientists all around the globe. Experts are constantly learning more about the Universe’s strangest entities. Black holes can be characterised by three physical quantities; their spin, mass and charge.

As they do not have “hair”, separate black holes which have exactly the same mass, spin and charge are said to be identical to each other.

However, researchers have discovered that some black holes have “hair”, which creates uniqueness for the entities.

The hair is not the same as what living beings posses, but rather it is formed from gravitational filaments which have come about from enormous gravitational pull of monstrous black holes.

Scientists from the US studied black holes which were “saturated” with the maximum spin or charge they can possibly have.

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The team noticed something can be quantified and constructed from the spacetime curvature at the black hole horizon.

This “something” has been called “gravitational hair” and is something which can be observed from a distance, and adds weight to the theory that all black holes are entirely unique.

Dr Lior Burko of Theiss Research said: “This new result is surprising.

“Because the black hole uniqueness theorems are well established and in particular their extension to extreme black holes.

“There has to be an assumption of the theorems that is not satisfied, to explain how the theorems do not apply in this case.”

The research is built on a previous study by mathematician Stefanos Aretakis, which found entities which were unstable in the black hole horizon field.

These entities are now said the be “hairs”, which scientists can measure and abandon any uniqueness theory.

Dr Burko continued: “The uniqueness theorems assume time independence.

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“But the Aretakis phenomenon explicitly violates time independence along the event horizon.

“This is the loophole through which the hair can pop out and be combed at a great distance by a gravitational wave observatory.”

While other studies had found black hole hairs through scalarization, Dr Burko and his team based their research on Einstein’s studies.

Dr Burko said: “In this work, we were working with the vacuum Einstein theory, without additional dynamical fields that modify the theory and which may violate the Strong Equivalence Principle.”

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