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The Formation of Black Holes in General Relativity

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In 2008, Demetrios Christodoulou published a book “The Formation of Black Holes in General Relativity” in which it is shown that closed trapped surfaces can form in pure general relativity through the focusing of gravitational waves. The result is monumental; his short pulse method offers the first foray into the long-time dynamics of general relativity in the large. This goal of this talk is to put this result in context, avoiding the technical details. It should be accessible and will hopefully end with a (slightly more) precise statement of the result.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Analysts' Knowledge Exchange series.

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