nLab black hole





physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics

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theory (physics), model (physics)

experiment, measurement, computable physics



A black hole is a spacetime that solves Einstein equations of general relativity characterized by the fact that it possesses an event horizon hypersurface (or several of them) which has a number of special characteristics, for example that light cannot escape from the space confined by the horizon hypersurface due to gravitational effects. Much of the theoretical considerations are about the entropy of black holes (cf. Bekenstein-Hawking entropy) and the information paradox.

Black holes are considered theoretically for gravitational theories in various number dd of dimension. For d5d \geq 5 a black hole spacetime may have nontrivial topology, e.g. black rings are possible.


  • In usual asymptotically 3+1-dimensional Minkowski spacetime, the first black hole solution that was found is the Schwarzschild black hole solution; such a black hole posses a single horizon hypersurface and seems to be stable under various perturbations.

  • Another solution with finite angular momentum is called the Kerr spacetime, and there is a simple generalization having also the electric charge, the Newman solution or the Kerr-Newman black hole. This solution differs pretty much from the Schwarzschild solution and its structure is unstable under various physical mechanisms and perturbations; it possesses two horizons, inner and outer.



Hawking’s Theorem of Black Hole topology asserts that the in case of d=4d = 4 asymptotically flat stationary black holes satisfying the suitable dominant energy condition, the cross sections of the event horizon are spherical.

Galloway and Schoen extended this theorem to higher dimensions; they showed that the cross sections of event horizon (stationary case) and the outer (apparent) horizon (general case) are of Yamabe type.


Empirical observation


Some candidate astrophysical? objects which seem to point to black hole have been observed.


black hole spacetimesvanishing angular momentumpositive angular momentum
vanishing chargeSchwarzschild spacetimeKerr spacetime
positive chargeReissner-Nordstrom spacetimeKerr-Newman spacetime




Resolved image of the direct vicinity of the event horizon of the black hole in the center of the galaxy Messier 87:


  • Valeri Frolov, Andrei Zelnikov, Introduction to black hole physics, Oxford 2011

  • Wikipedia, Black hole

  • Croatian black hole school, 2010

  • Barrett O’Neill, The geometry of Kerr black holes

  • S. Chandrasekhar, The mathematical theory of black holes

  • G. T. Horowitz, A. Strominger, Counting states of near-extremal black holes, Phys. Rev. Lett. 77 (1996) 2368–2371, hep-th/9602051.

  • Gregory Galloway, Richard Schoen, A Generalization of Hawking’s Black Hole Topology Theorem to Higher Dimensions Commun. Math. Phys. (2006) (pdf)

  • Robert Wald, Quantum Field Theory in Curved Spacetime and Black Hole Thermodynamics, University of Chicago Press 1994; The back reaction effect in particle creation in curved spacetime, Commun. Math. Phys. 54, 1 (1977)

  • Pietro Fré, Gravity, a Geometrical Course, Volume 2: Black Holes, Cosmology and Introduction to Supergravity, Springer (2013) [doi:10.1007/978-94-007-5443-0]

With focus on regular black holes:

  • Chen Lan, Hao Yang, Yang Guo, Yan-Gang Miao, Regular black holes: A short topic review [arXiv:2303.11696]

In supergravity

Black holes in supergravity:

Holographic description

Discussion of black holes in the context of the holographic principle and the AdS-CFT correspondence is in

The nature of the event horizon, specifically, is discussed in

  • Kyriakos Papadodimas, Suvrat Raju, An Infalling Observer in AdS/CFT (arXiv:1211.6767)

Cosmology inside black holes

  • Razieh Pourhasan, Niayesh Afshordi, Robert B. Mann, Out of the White Hole: A Holographic Origin for the Big Bang (arxiv:1309.1487)

Last revised on February 15, 2024 at 09:07:14. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.