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Black Hole Hair

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Joan Camps.

Black holes are perhaps the most fascinating objects in General Relativity – they have a very simple mathematical description, characterised by mass, charge and angular momentum – the lack of larger numbers of parameters being typically summed up by “no hair” theorems. Yet the no hair theorems ignore nonperturbative aspects of the field theories used to describe matter. I will discuss how black holes can acquire very spectacular hair when symmetries of nature are spontaneously broken – in the form of topological defects emanating from the black hole horizon. I will discuss how these vacuum defects interact with the black hole, causing it to buckle and change in shape. Although the black hole can be bland, it can have rather literal, and very long hair!

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Colloquium series.

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