Vol. 2 (1999) > lrr-1999-4

doi: 10.12942/lrr-1999-4
Living Rev. Relativity 2 (1999), 4

Critical Phenomena in Gravitational Collapse

1 Faculty of Mathematical Studies, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, U.K.

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Article Abstract

As first discovered by Choptuik, the black hole threshold in the space of initial data for general relativity shows both surprising structure and surprising simplicity. Universality, power-law scaling of the black hole mass, and scale echoing have given rise to the term "critical phenomena". They are explained by the existence of exact solutions which are attractors within the black hole threshold, that is, attractors of codimension one in phase space, and which are typically self-similar. This review gives an introduction to the phenomena, tries to summarize the essential features of what is happening, and then presents extensions and applications of this basic scenario. Critical phenomena are of interest particularly for creating surprising structure from simple equations, and for the light they throw on cosmic censorship and the generic dynamics of general relativity.


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Article Citation

Since a Living Reviews in Relativity article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Carsten Gundlach,
"Critical Phenomena in Gravitational Collapse",
Living Rev. Relativity 2,  (1999),  4. URL (cited on <date>):

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-1999-4
Title Critical Phenomena in Gravitational Collapse
Author Carsten Gundlach
Date accepted 7 December 1999, published 22 December 1999
UPDATE http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2007-5
Title Critical Phenomena in Gravitational Collapse
Author Carsten Gundlach / José M. Martín-García
Date accepted 6 December 2007, published 11 December 2007
Changes Completely restructured and updated review with new co-author José M. Martín-García. Omitted some details not central to the topic, e.g., in Sections 3.2 and 4.1 (new 2.4) of 1999 version; original Section 4.4 with technical details has been dropped. References have been updated and increased in number from 124 to 195.
Date accepted 22 February 2010, published 23 February 2010
Changes Added summaries of papers which have appeared since the last version of 2007 (17 new references have been added.). For detailed description see here .

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