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Physics  2012 

Black-hole production from ultrarelativistic collisions

DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/30/1/012001

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Determining the conditions under which a black hole can be produced is a long-standing and fundamental problem in general relativity. We use numerical simulations of colliding selfgravitating fluid objects to study the conditions of black-hole formation when the objects are boosted to ultrarelativistic speeds. Expanding on previous work, we show that the collision is characterized by a type-I critical behaviour, with a black hole being produced for masses above a critical value, M_c, and a partially bound object for masses below the critical one. More importantly, we show for the first time that the critical mass varies with the initial effective Lorentz factor <\gamma> following a simple scaling of the type M_c ~ K <\gamma>^{-1.0}, thus indicating that a black hole of infinitesimal mass is produced in the limit of a diverging Lorentz factor. Furthermore, because a scaling is present also in terms of the initial stellar compactness, we provide a condition for black-hole formation in the spirit of the hoop conjecture.


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