On extremal and near extremal black holes

Mihalis Dafermos, Princeton University
Fine Hall Common Room

What's Happening in Fine Hall

Extremal (maximally rotating or maximally charged) and near-extremal black holes are of intense interest both for real astrophysics and in the context of fashionable speculations in high energy physics. They are thus much discussed by our neighbours in both Peyton and Jadwin Halls. In this talk, I will first introduce extremal black holes to a general mathematical audience, and then I will describe how a series of mathematical theorems proven in Fine Hall over the past ten years (with reasonably short proofs!) have overturned many traditional expectations---even supposed “laws”---involving these objects, giving rise to a new conjectural picture of extremal gravitational collapse with both observational and theoretical significance.