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Evidence for violations of Weak Cosmic Censorship in black hole collisions in higher dimensions

Andrade, Tomas and Figueras, Pau and Sperhake, Ulrich (2022) Evidence for violations of Weak Cosmic Censorship in black hole collisions in higher dimensions. Journal of High Energy Physics, 2022 (3). Art. No. 111. ISSN 1029-8479. doi:10.1007/jhep03(2022)111.

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We study collisions of boosted rotating black holes in D = 6 and 7 spacetime dimensions with a non-zero impact parameter. We find that there exists an open set of initial conditions such that the intermediate state of the collision is a black hole with a dumbbell-like horizon which is unstable to a local Gregory-Laflamme-type instability. We are able to provide convincing numerical evidence that the evolution of such an instability leads to a pinch off of the horizon in finite asymptotic time thus forming a naked singularity, as in similar unstable black holes. Since the black holes in the initial state are stable, this is the first genuinely generic evidence for the violation of the Weak Cosmic Censorship Conjecture in higher dimensional asymptotically flat spacetimes.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Figueras, Pau0000-0001-6438-315X
Sperhake, Ulrich0000-0002-3134-7088
Alternate Title:Violations of Weak Cosmic Censorship in Black Hole collisions
Additional Information:© 2022 The Authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited. Article funded by SCOAP3. Received 30 November 2021. Accepted 23 February 2022. Published 17 March 2022. We thank Roberto Emparan for many insightful discussions. Our special thanks are for the entire GRChombo collaboration ( for their help and support. TA is supported by the ERC Advanced Grant GravBHs-692951. He also thanks QMUL for the hospitality during the early stages of this project. PF is supported by the European Research Council Grant No. ERC-2014-StG 639022-NewNGR, by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (Grant No. UF140319 and URF\R\201026) and by a Royal Society Enhancement Award (Grant No. RGF\EA\180260). US acknowledges support from the European Union’s H2020 ERC Consolidator Grant “Matter and strong-field gravity: new frontiers in Einstein’s theory” Grant No. MaGRaTh-646597, the STFC Consolidator Grant No. ST/P000673/1, and the GWverse COST Action Grant No. CA16104, “Black holes, gravitational waves and fundamental physics”. The simulations presented here were done on the MareNostrum4 cluster at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (Grant No. FI-2020-2-0011 and FI-2020-2-0016), the SDSC Comet and TACC Stampede2 clusters through NSF-XSEDE Grant No. PHY-090003, and the Cambridge Service for Data Driven Discovery (CSD3), part of which is operated by the University of Cambridge Research Computing on behalf of the STFC DiRAC HPC Facility ( The DiRAC component of CSD3 was funded by BEIS capital funding via STFC capital grants ST/P002307/1 and ST/R002452/1 and STFC operations grant ST/R00689X/1. DiRAC is part of the National e-Infrastructure.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)692951
European Research Council (ERC)639022
Royal SocietyUF140319
Royal SocietyURF\R\201026
Royal SocietyRGF\EA\180260
European Research Council (ERC)646597
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/P000673/1
European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)CA16104
Barcelona Supercomputing Centre – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS)FI-2020-2-0011
Barcelona Supercomputing Centre – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS)FI-2020-2-0016
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/P002307/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/R002452/1
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/R00689X/1
Subject Keywords:Black Holes, Classical Theories of Gravity, Spacetime Singularities
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220322-742068000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Andrade, T., Figueras, P. & Sperhake, U. Evidence for violations of Weak Cosmic Censorship in black hole collisions in higher dimensions. J. High Energ. Phys. 2022, 111 (2022).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113995
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 Mar 2022 17:44
Last Modified:25 Jul 2022 23:14

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