Authors: Ryan Hamerly, Yanbei Chen
Date: 30 Jul 2010
Abstract: We study the geometry of the event horizon of a spacetime in which a small compact object plunges into a large Schwarzschild black hole. We first use the Regge-Wheeler and Zerilli formalisms to calculate the metric perturbations induced by this small compact object, then find the new event horizon by propagating null geodesics near the unperturbed horizon. A caustic is shown to exist before the merger. Focusing on the geometry near the caustic, we show that it is determined predominantly by large-l perturbations, which in turn have simple asymptotic forms near the point at which the particle plunges into the horizon. It is therefore possible to obtain an analytic characterization of the geometry that is independent of the details of the plunge. We further show that among the leading-order horizon area increase, half arises from generators that enter the horizon through the caustic, and the rest arises from area increase near the caustic, induced by the gravitational field of the compact object.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis