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Black-hole quasinormal resonances: Wave analysis versus a geometric-optics approximation

Shahar Hod

2009
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Physical Review D
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It has long been known that null unstable geodesics are related to the characteristic modes of black holes-- the so called quasinormal resonances. The basic idea is to interpret the free oscillations of a black hole in the eikonal limit in terms of null particles trapped at the unstable circular orbit and slowly leaking out. The real part of the complex quasinormal resonances is related to the angular velocity at the unstable null geodesic. The imaginary part of the resonances is related to the
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... instability timescale (or the inverse Lyapunov exponent) of the orbit. While this geometric-optics description of the black-hole quasinormal resonances in terms of perturbed null rays is very appealing and intuitive, it is still highly important to verify the validity of this approach by directly analyzing the Teukolsky wave equation which governs the dynamics of perturbation waves in the black-hole spacetime. This is the main goal of the present paper. We first use the geometric-optics technique of perturbing a bundle of unstable null rays to calculate the resonances of near-extremal Kerr black holes in the eikonal approximation. We then directly solve the Teukolsky wave equation (supplemented by the appropriate physical boundary conditions) and show that the resultant quasinormal spectrum obtained directly from the wave analysis is in accord with the spectrum obtained from the geometric-optics approximation of perturbed null rays.

doi:10.1103/physrevd.80.064004
fatcat:ycba4hfknfbbdha7mchilfnenq