Abstract:
We study black hole formation in the head-on collision of ultrarelativistic charges. The metric of charged particles is obtained by boosting the Reissner-Nordstr\"om spacetime to the speed of light. Using the slice at the instant of collision, we study formation of the apparent horizon (AH) and derive a condition indicating that a critical value of the electric charge is necessary for formation to take place. Evaluating this condition for characteristic values at the LHC, we find that the presence of charge decreases the black hole production rate in accelerators. We comment on possible limitations of our approach.

Abstract:
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.

Abstract:
We discuss the asymptotic structure of the ultrarelativistic Schwarzschild black hole. An explicit construction for a conformal boundary both at spatial and null infinity is given together with the corresponding expressions for the ADM and Bondi four-momenta.

Abstract:
We argue that it is possible to assign Bondi as well as ADM four-momentum to the ultrarelativistic limit of the Schwarzschild black hole in agreement to what is expected on physical grounds: The Bondi-momentum is lightlike and equal to the ADM-momentum up to the retarded time when particle and radiation escape to infinity and drops to zero thereafter, leaving flat space behind.

Abstract:
Ultrarelativistic collisions of black holes are ideal gedanken experiments to study the nonlinearities of general relativity. In this paper we use semianalytical tools to better understand the nature of these collisions and the emitted gravitational radiation. We explain many features of the energy spectra extracted from numerical relativity simulations using two complementary semianalytical calculations. In the first calculation we estimate the radiation by a "zero-frequency limit" analysis of the collision of two point particles with finite impact parameter. In the second calculation we replace one of the black holes by a point particle plunging with arbitrary energy and impact parameter into a Schwarzschild black hole, and we explore the multipolar structure of the radiation paying particular attention to the near-critical regime. We also use a geodesic analogy to provide qualitative estimates of the dependence of the scattering threshold on the black hole spin and on the dimensionality of the spacetime.

Abstract:
We investigate the gravitational energy emission of an ultrarelativistic particle radially falling into a D-dimensional black hole. We numerically integrate the equations describing black hole gravitational perturbations and obtain energy spectra, total energy and angular distribution of the emitted gravitational radiation. The black hole quasinormal modes for scalar, vector, and tensor perturbations are computed in the WKB approximation. We discuss our results in the context of black hole production at the TeV scale.

Abstract:
We investigate the ultrarelativistic boost of a Schwarzschild black hole immersed in an external electromagnetic field, described by an exact solution of the Einstein-Maxwell equations found by Ernst (the ``Schwarzschild-Melvin'' metric). Following the classical method of Aichelburg and Sexl, the gravitational field generated by a black hole moving ``with the speed of light'' and the transformed electromagnetic field are determined. The corresponding exact solution describes an impulsive gravitational wave propagating in the static, cylindrically symmetric, electrovac universe of Melvin, and for a vanishing electromagnetic field it reduces to the well known Aichelburg-Sexl pp-wave. In the boosting process, the original Petrov type I of the Schwarzschild-Melvin solution simplifies to the type II on the impulse, and to the type D elsewhere. The geometry of the wave front is studied, in particular its non-constant Gauss curvature. In addition, a more general class of impulsive waves in the Melvin universe is constructed by means of a six-dimensional embedding formalism adapted to the background. A coordinate system is also presented in which all the impulsive metrics take a continuous form. Finally, it is shown that these solutions are a limiting case of a family of exact gravitational waves with an arbitrary profile. This family is identified with a solution previously found by Garfinkle and Melvin. We thus complement their analysis, in particular demonstrating that such spacetimes are of type II and belong to the Kundt class.

Abstract:
We present a numerical investigation of the gravitational collapse of horizon-size density fluctuations to primordial black holes (PBHs) during the radiation-dominated phase of the Early Universe. The collapse dynamics of three different families of initial perturbation shapes, imposed at the time of horizon crossing, is computed. The perturbation threshold for black hole formation, needed for estimations of the cosmological PBH mass function, is found to be $\delta_{\rm c} \approx 0.7$ rather than the generally employed $\delta_{\rm c} \approx 1/3$, if $\delta$ is defined as $\Delta M/\mh$, the relative excess mass within the initial horizon volume. In order to study the accretion onto the newly formed black holes, we use a numerical scheme that allows us to follow the evolution for long times after formation of the event horizon. In general, small black holes (compared to the horizon mass at the onset of the collapse) give rise to a fluid bounce that effectively shuts off accretion onto the black hole, while large ones do not. In both cases, the growth of the black hole mass owing to accretion is insignificant. Furthermore, the scaling of black hole mass with distance from the formation threshold, known to occur in near-critical gravitational collapse, is demonstrated to apply to primordial black hole formation.

Abstract:
The formation of cosmological black holes is investigated using the functional Schroedinger equation as observed by an asymptotic observer, assuming a spherical domain wall collapse process. The mass formula of the Sultana-Dyer black hole is derived using Israel's domain wall mathematical framework. This is used to examine the semi-classical and quantum nature of the collapsing domain wall in the general scale of an arbitrary scale factor, while ignoring evaporation and back reaction mass losses. Particular FLRW scale factors are then explored for black hole horizon formation times, all yielding the same over-all classical result, namely that an arbitrary amount of time is required for an asymptotic observer to register the formation of this surface.

Abstract:
We present a series of two-dimensional core-collapse supernova simulations for a range of progenitor masses and different input physics. These models predict a range of supernova energies and compact remnant masses. In particular, we study two mechanisms for black hole formation: prompt collapse and delayed collapse due to fallback. For massive progenitors above 20 solar masses, after a hydrodynamic time for the helium core (a few minutes to a few hours), fallback drives the compact object beyond the maximum neutron star mass causing it to collapse into a black hole. With the current accuracy of the models, progenitors more massive than 40 solar masses form black holes directly with no supernova explosion (if rotating, these black holes may be the progenitors of gamma-ray bursts). We calculate the mass distribution of black holes formed, and compare these predictions to the observations, which represent a small biased subset of the black hole population. Uncertainties in these estimates are discussed.