Ultrarelativistic black hole formation

William E. East, Frans Pretorius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We study the head-on collision of fluid particles well within the kinetic energy dominated regime (γ=8 to 12) by numerically solving the Einstein-hydrodynamic equations. We find that the threshold for black hole formation is lower (by a factor of a few) than simple hoop conjecture estimates, and, moreover, near this threshold two distinct apparent horizons first form postcollision and then merge. We argue that this can be understood in terms of a gravitational focusing effect. The gravitational radiation reaches luminosities of 0.014 c5/G, carrying 16±2% of the total energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101101
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 7 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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