Carlos A. Herdeiro - Stanford University

Carlos A. Herdeiro
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Carlos A. Herdeiro
Stanford University
United States

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Pub Categories

General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (50)
High Energy Physics - Theory (38)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (22)
High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (4)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (2)
Nonlinear Sciences - Pattern Formation and Solitons (1)
Mathematical Physics (1)
Mathematics - Mathematical Physics (1)

Publications Authored By Carlos A. Herdeiro

We continue our study on the capabilities of present and future X-ray missions to test the nature of astrophysical black hole candidates via X-ray reflection spectroscopy and distinguish Kerr black holes from other solutions of 4-dimensional Einstein's gravity in the presence of a matter field. Here we investigate the case of Kerr black holes with Proca hair [1]. The analysis of a sample of these configurations suggests that even extremely hairy black holes can mimic the iron line profile of the standard Kerr black holes, and, at least for the configurations of our study, we find that current X-ray missions cannot distinguish these objects from Kerr black holes. Read More

Vector boson stars, or $\textit{Proca stars}$, have been recently obtained as fully non-linear numerical solutions of the Einstein-(complex)-Proca system. These are self-gravitating, everywhere non-singular, horizonless Bose-Einstein condensates of a massive vector field, which resemble in many ways, but not all, their scalar cousins, the well-known (scalar) $\textit{boson stars}$. In this paper we report fully-non linear numerical evolutions of Proca stars, focusing on the spherically symmetric case, with the goal of assessing their stability and the end-point of the evolution of the unstable stars. Read More

Highly spinning Kerr black holes with masses $M = 1 - 100\ M_{\odot}$ are subject to an efficient superradiant instability in the presence of bosons with masses $\mu \sim 10^{-10} - 10^{-12} eV$. We observe that this precisely matches the effective plasma-induced photon mass in diffuse galactic or intracluster environments ($\omega_{pl} \sim 10^{-10} - 10^{-12}\ eV$). This suggests that bare Kerr black holes within galactic or intracluster environments, possibly even including the one produced in GW150914, are unstable to formation of a photon cloud that may contain a significant fraction of the mass of the original black hole. Read More

We study the shadows of the fully non-linear, asymptotically flat Einstein-dilaton-Gauss-Bonnet (EdGB) black holes (BHs), for both static and rotating solutions. We find that, in all cases, these shadows are smaller than for comparable Kerr BHs, i.e. Read More

X-ray reflection spectroscopy can be a powerful tool to test the nature of astrophysical black holes. Extending previous work on Kerr black holes with scalar hair [1] and on boson stars [2], here we study whether astrophysical black hole candidates may be horizonless, self-gravitating, vector Bose-Einstein condensates, known as Proca stars [3]. We find that observations with current X-ray missions can only provide weak constraints and rule out solely Proca stars with low compactness. Read More

Light bosonic fields are ubiquitous in extensions of the Standard Model. Even when minimally coupled to gravity, these fields might evade the assumptions of the black-hole no-hair theorems and give rise to spinning black holes which can be drastically different from the Kerr metric. Furthermore, they allow for self-gravitating compact solitons, known as (scalar or Proca) boson stars. Read More

Recent numerical relativity simulations within the Einstein--Maxwell--(charged-)Klein-Gordon (EMcKG) system have shown that the non-linear evolution of a superradiantly unstable Reissner-Nordstr\"om black hole (BH) enclosed in a cavity, leads to the formation of a BH with scalar hair. Perturbative evidence for the stability of such hairy BHs has been independently established, confirming they are the true endpoints of the superradiant instability. The same EMcKG system admits also charged scalar soliton-type solutions, which can be either stable or unstable. Read More

The present paper is a sequel to our previous work [Y. Ni et al., JCAP 1607, 049 (2016)] in which we studied the iron K$\alpha$ line expected in the reflection spectrum of Kerr black holes with scalar hair. Read More

We construct electrically charged Kerr black holes (BHs) with scalar hair. Firstly, we take an uncharged scalar field, interacting with the electromagnetic field only indirectly, via the background metric. The corresponding family of solutions, dubbed Kerr-Newman BHs with ungauged scalar hair, reduces to (a sub-family of) Kerr-Newman BHs in the limit of vanishing scalar hair and to uncharged rotating boson stars in the limit of vanishing horizon. Read More

In a recent letter, we presented numerical relativity simulations, solving the full Einstein--Maxwell--Klein-Gordon equations, of superradiantly unstable Reissner-Nordstr\"om black holes (BHs), enclosed in a cavity. Low frequency, spherical perturbations of a charged scalar field, trigger this instability. The system's evolution was followed into the non-linear regime, until it relaxed into an equilibrium configuration, found to be a $\textit{hairy}$ BH: a charged horizon in equilibrium with a scalar field condensate, whose phase is oscillating at the (final) critical frequency. Read More

A central feature of the most elementary rotating black hole (BH) solution in General Relativity is the Kerr bound, which, for vacuum Kerr BHs, can be expressed either in terms of the ADM or the horizon "charges". This bound, however, is not a fundamental properties of General Relativity and stationary, asymptotically flat, regular (on and outside an event horizon) BHs are known to violate the Kerr bound, both in terms of their ADM and horizon quantities. Examples include the recently discovered Kerr BHs with scalar or Proca hair. Read More

Recently, a family of hairy black holes in 4-dimensional Einstein gravity minimally coupled to a complex, massive scalar field was discovered~\cite{hbh}. Besides the mass $M$ and spin angular momentum $J$, these objects are characterized by a Noether charge $Q$, measuring the amount of scalar hair, which is not associated to a Gauss law and cannot be measured at spatial infinity. Introducing a dimensionless scalar hair parameter $q$, ranging from 0 to 1, we recover (a subset of) Kerr black holes for $q=0$ and a family of rotating boson stars for $q=1$. Read More

We explicitly construct static black hole solutions to the fully non-linear, D=4, Einstein-Maxwell-AdS equations that have no continuous spatial symmetries. These black holes have a smooth, topologically spherical horizon (section), but without isometries, and approach, asymptotically, global AdS spacetime. They are interpreted as bound states of a horizon with the Einstein-Maxwell-AdS solitons recently discovered, for appropriate boundary data. Read More

Recently, various examples of asymptotically flat, rotating black holes (BHs) with synchronized hair have been explicitly constructed, including Kerr BHs with scalar or Proca hair, and Myers-Perry BHs with scalar hair and a mass gap, showing there is a general mechanism at work. All these solutions have been found numerically, integrating the fully non-linear field equations of motion from the event horizon outwards. Here, we address the spacetime geometry of these solutions inside the event horizon. Read More

For an observer, the Black Hole (BH) shadow is the BH's apparent image in the sky due to the gravitational lensing of nearby radiation, emitted by an external source. A recent class of solutions dubbed Kerr BHs with scalar hair possess smaller shadows than the corresponding Kerr BHs and, under some conditions, novel exotic shadow shapes can arise. Thus, these hairy BHs could potentially provide new shadow templates for future experiments such as the Event Horizon Telescope. Read More

Self-interacting boson stars have been shown to alleviate the astrophysically low maximal mass of their non-self-interacting counterparts. We report some physical features of spinning self-interacting boson stars, namely their compactness, the occurence of ergo-regions and the scalar field profiles, for a sample of values of the coupling parameter. The results agree with the general picture that these boson stars are comparatively less compact than the non-self-interacting ones. Read More

We review recent progress in the application of numerical relativity techniques to astrophysics and high-energy physics. We focus on some developments that took place within the "Numerical Relativity and High Energy Physics" network, a Marie Curie IRSES action that we coordinated, namely: spin evolution in black hole binaries, high-energy black hole collisions, compact object solutions in scalar-tensor gravity, superradiant instabilities and hairy black hole solutions in Einstein's gravity coupled to fundamental fields, and the possibility to gain insight into these phenomena using analog gravity models. Read More

Bekenstein proved that in Einstein's gravity minimally coupled to one (or many) real, Abelian, Proca field, stationary black holes (BHs) cannot have Proca hair. Dropping Bekenstein's assumption that matter inherits spacetime symmetries, we show this model admits asymptotically flat, stationary, axi-symmetric, regular on and outside an event horizon BHs with Proca hair, for an even number of real (or an arbitrary number of complex) Proca fields. To establish it, we start by showing that a test, complex Proca field can form bound states, with real frequency, around Kerr BHs: stationary Proca clouds. Read More

Electrostatics on global Anti-de-Sitter (AdS) spacetime is sharply different from that on global Minkowski spacetime. It admits a multipolar expansion with everywhere regular, finite energy solutions, for every multipole moment except the monopole (arXiv:1507.04370). Read More

A Reissner-Nordstr\"om black hole (BH) is superradiantly unstable against spherical perturbations of a charged scalar field, enclosed in a cavity, with frequency lower than a critical value. We use numerical relativity techniques to follow the development of this unstable system -- dubbed a charged BH bomb -- into the non-linear regime, solving the full Einstein--Maxwell--Klein-Gordon equations, in spherical symmetry. We show that: $i)$ the process stops before all the charge is extracted from the BH; $ii)$ the system settles down into a hairy BH: a charged horizon in equilibrium with a scalar field condensate, whose phase is oscillating at the (final) critical frequency. Read More

Scalar and gravitational perturbations on Kerr-anti-de Sitter (Kerr-AdS) black holes have been addressed in the literature and have been shown to exhibit a rich phenomenology. In this paper we complete the analysis of bosonic fields on this background by studying Maxwell perturbations, focusing on superradiant instabilities and vector clouds. For this purpose, we solve the Teukolsky equations numerically, imposing the boundary conditions we have proposed in\cite{Wang:2015goa} for the radial Teukolsky equation. Read More

Perturbations of asymptotically Anti-de-Sitter (AdS) spacetimes are often considered by imposing field vanishing boundary conditions (BCs) at the AdS boundary. Such BCs, of Dirichlet-type, imply a vanishing energy flux at the boundary, but the converse is, generically, not true. Regarding AdS as a gravitational box, we consider vanishing energy flux (VEF) BCs as a more fundamental physical requirement and we show that these BCs can lead to a new branch of modes. Read More

The maximal ADM mass for (mini-)boson stars (BSs) -- gravitating solitons of Einstein's gravity minimally coupled to a free, complex, mass $\mu$, Klein-Gordon field -- is $M_{\rm ADM}^{\rm max}\sim M_{Pl}^2/\mu$. Adding quartic self-interactions to the scalar field theory, described by the Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}_I=\lambda |\Psi|^4$, the maximal ADM mass becomes $M_{\rm ADM}^{\rm max}\sim \sqrt{\lambda}M_{Pl}^3/\mu^2$. Thus, for mini-BSs, astrophysically interesting masses require ultra-light scalar fields, whereas self-interacting BSs can reach such values for bosonic particles with Standard Model range masses. Read More

Using backwards ray tracing, we study the shadows of Kerr black holes with scalar hair (KBHsSH). KBHsSH interpolate continuously between Kerr BHs and boson stars (BSs), so we start by investigating the lensing of light due to BSs. Moving from the weak to the strong gravity region, BSs - which by themselves have no shadows - are classified, according to the lensing produced, as: $(i)$ non-compact, which yield no multiple images; $(ii)$ compact, which produce an increasing number of Einstein rings and multiple images of the whole celestial sphere; $(iii)$ ultra-compact, which possess light rings, yielding an infinite number of images with (we conjecture) a self-similar structure. Read More

We establish that massive complex Abelian vector fields (mass $\mu$) can form gravitating solitons, when minimally coupled to Einstein's gravity. Such Proca stars (PSs) have a stationary, everywhere regular and asymptotically flat geometry. The Proca field, however, possesses a harmonic time dependence (frequency $w$), realizing Wheeler's concept of geons for an Abelian spin 1 field. Read More

We discuss electrostatics in Anti-de-Sitter ($AdS$) spacetime, in global coordinates. We observe that the multipolar expansion has two crucial differences to that in Minkowski spacetime. First, there are everywhere regular solutions, with finite energy, for every multipole moment except for the monopole. Read More

Kerr black holes have their angular momentum, $J$, bounded by their mass, $M$: $Jc\leqslant GM^2$. There are, however, known black hole solutions violating this Kerr bound. We propose a very simple universal bound on the rotation, rather than on the angular momentum, of four-dimensional, stationary and axisymmetric, asymptotically flat black holes, given in terms of an appropriately defined horizon linear velocity, $v_H$. Read More

We construct rotating boson stars and Myers-Perry black holes with scalar hair (MPBHsSH) as fully non-linear solutions of five dimensional Einstein gravity minimally coupled to a complex, massive scalar field. The MPBHsSH are, in general, regular on and outside the horizon, asymptotically flat, and possess angular momentum in a single rotation plane. They are supported by rotation and have no static limit. Read More

We consider the status of black hole solutions with non-trivial scalar fields but no gauge fields, in four dimensional asymptotically flat space-times, reviewing both classical results and recent developments. We start by providing a simple illustration on the physical difference between black holes in electro-vacuum and scalar-vacuum. Next, we review no-scalar-hair theorems. Read More

One century after its formulation, Einstein's general relativity has made remarkable predictions and turned out to be compatible with all experimental tests. Most of these tests probe the theory in the weak-field regime, and there are theoretical and experimental reasons to believe that general relativity should be modified when gravitational fields are strong and spacetime curvature is large. The best astrophysical laboratories to probe strong-field gravity are black holes and neutron stars, whether isolated or in binary systems. Read More

Kerr black holes with scalar hair are solutions of the Einstein-Klein-Gordon field equations describing regular (on and outside an event horizon), asymptotically flat black holes with scalar hair (arXiv:1403.2757). These black holes interpolate continuously between the Kerr solution and rotating boson stars in D=4 spacetime dimensions. Read More

Under certain conditions sound waves in fluids experience an acoustic horizon with analogue properties to those of a black hole event horizon. In particular, a draining bathtub-like model can give rise to a rotating acoustic horizon and hence a rotating black hole (acoustic) analogue. We show that sound waves, when enclosed in a cylindrical cavity, can form stationary waves around such rotating acoustic black holes. Read More

In two previous papers we have computed the inelasticity $\epsilon$ in a head-on collision of two $D$-dimensional Aichelburg-Sexl shock waves, using perturbation theory to calculate the geometry in the future light-cone of the collision. The first order result, obtained as an accurate numerical fit, yielded the remarkably simple formula $\epsilon_{\rm 1st\, order} = 1/2 - 1/D$. Here we show, analytically, that this result is exact in first order perturbation theory. Read More

The nonlinear stability of Kerr-Newman black holes (KNBHs) is investigated by performing numerical simulations within the full Einstein-Maxwell theory. We take as initial data a KNBH with mass $M$, angular momentum to mass ratio $a$ and charge $Q$. Evolutions are performed to scan this parameter space within the intervals $0\le a/M\le 0. Read More

Q-balls are regular extended `objects' that exist for some non-gravitating, self-interacting, scalar field theories with a global, continuous, internal symmetry, on Minkowski spacetime. Here, analogous objects are also shown to exist around rotating (Kerr) black holes, as non-linear bound states of a test scalar field. We dub such configurations Q-clouds. Read More

Massive complex scalar fields can form bound states around Kerr black holes. These bound states -- dubbed scalar clouds -- are generically non-zero and finite on and outside the horizon; they decay exponentially at spatial infinity, have a real frequency and are specified by a set of integer "quantum" numbers (n,l,m). For a specific set of these numbers, the clouds are only possible along a 1-dimensional subset of the 2-dimensional parameter space of Kerr black holes, called an existence line. Read More

The demand to obtain answers to highly complex problems within strong-field gravity has been met with significant progress in the numerical solution of Einstein's equations - along with some spectacular results - in various setups. We review techniques for solving Einstein's equations in generic spacetimes, focusing on fully nonlinear evolutions but also on how to benchmark those results with perturbative approaches. The results address problems in high-energy physics, holography, mathematical physics, fundamental physics, astrophysics and cosmology. Read More

We construct a family of asymptotically flat, rotating black holes with scalar hair and a regular horizon, within five dimensional Einstein's gravity minimally coupled to a complex, massive scalar field doublet. These solutions are supported by rotation and have no static limit. They are described by their mass $M$, two equal angular momenta $J_1=J_2\equiv J$ and a conserved Noether charge $Q$, measuring the scalar hair. Read More

Massive fields can exist in long-lived configurations around black holes. We examine how the gravitational wave signal of a perturbed black hole is affected by such `dirtiness' within linear theory. As a concrete example, we consider the gravitational radiation emitted by the infall of a massive scalar field into a Schwarzschild black hole. Read More

Massive scalar test fields around Kerr black holes can form quasi-bound states with complex frequencies. Some of these states decay in time, but some others -- in the superradiant regime -- grow, causing a superradiant instability. Precisely at the threshold between decaying and growing modes, there exist bound states with real frequency, known as scalar clouds. Read More

The nonlinear behavior of higher dimensional black hole spacetimes is of interest in several contexts, ranging from an understanding of cosmic censorship to black hole production in high-energy collisions. However, nonlinear numerical evolutions of higher dimensional black hole spacetimes are tremendously complex, involving different diagnostic tools and "dimensional reduction methods". In this work we compare two different successful codes to evolve Einstein's equations in higher dimensions, and show that the results of such different procedures agree to numerical precision, when applied to the collision from rest of two equal-mass black holes. Read More

We have recently reported (arXiv:1403.2757) the existence of Kerr black holes with scalar hair in General Relativity minimally coupled to a massive, complex scalar field. These solutions interpolate between boson stars and Kerr black holes. Read More

We show that scalar hair can be added to rotating, vacuum black holes of general relativity. These hairy black holes (HBHs) clarify a lingering question concerning gravitational solitons: if a black hole can be added at the centre of a boson star, as it typically can for other solitons. We argue that it can, but only if it is spinning. Read More

We investigate the superradiant instability for a charged scalar field in a $D$-dimensional small Reissner-Nordstr\"om-Anti-de Sitter (RN-AdS) black hole. Firstly, we solve the charged Klein-Gordon equation analytically by a matching method. We show that the general $D$-dimensional quasinormal frequencies depend on the relation between the angular momentum quantum number, $\ell$, and $D$. Read More

We present a family of solutions of Einstein's gravity minimally coupled to a complex, massive scalar field, describing asymptotically flat, spinning black holes with scalar hair and a regular horizon. These hairy black holes (HBHs) are supported by rotation and have no static limit. Besides mass M and angular momentum J, they carry a conserved, continuous Noether charge Q measuring the scalar hair. Read More

Frequency domain studies have recently demonstrated that charged scalar fields exhibit fast growing superradiant instabilities when interacting with charged black holes in a cavity. Here, we present a time domain analysis of the long time evolution of test charged scalar field configurations on the Reissner-Nordstr\"om background, with or without a mirror-like boundary condition. Initial data is taken to be either a Gaussian wave packet or a regularised (near the horizon) quasi-bound state. Read More

The first fully non-linear numerical simulations of colliding charged black holes in D=4 Einstein-Maxwell theory were recently reported arXiv:1205.1063. These collisions were performed for black holes with equal charge-to-mass ratio, for which initial data can be found in closed analytic form. Read More

n-DBI gravity explicitly breaks Lorentz invariance by the introduction of a unit time-like vector field, thereby giving rise to an extra (scalar) degree of freedom. We look for observational consequences of this mode in two setups. Firstly, we compute the parametrized post-Newtonian (PPN) expansion of the metric to first post-Newtonian order. Read More

Confined scalar fields, either by a mass term or by a mirror-like boundary condition, have unstable modes in the background of a Kerr black hole. Assuming a time dependence as $e^{-i\omega t}$, the growth time-scale of these unstable modes is set by the inverse of the (positive) imaginary part of the frequency, Im$(\omega)$, which reaches a maximum value of the order of Im$(\omega)M\sim 10^{-5}$, attained for a mirror-like boundary condition, where $M$ is the black hole mass. In this paper we study the minimally coupled Klein-Gordon equation for a charged scalar field in the background of a Reissner-Nordstr\"om black hole and show that the unstable modes, due to a mirror-like boundary condition, can grow several orders of magnitude faster than in the rotating case: we have obtained modes with up to Im$(\omega)M\sim 0. Read More

We consider the minimally coupled Klein-Gordon equation for a charged, massive scalar field in the non-extremal Reissner-Nordstr\"om background. Performing a frequency domain analysis, using a continued fraction method, we compute the frequencies \omega for quasi-bound states. We observe that, as the extremal limit for both the background and the field is approached, the real part of the quasi-bound states frequencies $\mathcal{R}(\omega)$ tends to the mass of the field and the imaginary part $\mathcal{I}(\omega)$ tends to zero, for any angular momentum quantum number $\ell$. Read More