5.4 Rings around black holes

The problem of uniformly rotating rings surrounding a black hole can be viewed as an intermediate step between one-body axisymmetric configurations and the two body problem. Indeed, even if one has to deal with two components, the problem is still axisymmetric. In [13Jump To The Next Citation Point], configurations of a black hole surrounded by a uniformly rotating ring of matter are computed in general relativity. The matter is assumed to be a perfect fluid. To solve the equations, space is divided into five computational domains. One of them describes the ring itself, another one the region around the black hole and another extends up to infinity. The two other domains are used to connect these regions. One of the difficulties is that the surface of the ring is not know a priori and so the domains must be dynamically adapted to its surface. Cylindrical-type coordinates are used and, in each domain, are mapped onto squares of numerical coordinates. The actual mappings depend on the domain and can be found in Section IV of [13Jump To The Next Citation Point].

Numerical coordinates are expanded in terms of Chebyshev polynomials. The system to be solved is obtained by writing Einstein’s equations in collocation space including regularity conditions on the axis and appropriate boundary conditions on both the horizon of the black hole and at spatial infinity. As in [9Jump To The Next Citation Point, 10Jump To The Next Citation Point], the system is solved iteratively, using the Newton–Raphson method.

Both the Newtonian and relativistic configurations are computed. The ratio between the mass of the black hole and the mass of the ring is varied from zero (no black hole) to 144. The inner mass shedding of the ring can be obtained. One of the most interesting results is the existence of configurations for which the ratio Jc∕M c2 of the black hole angular momentum and the square of its mass exceeds one, contrary to what can be achieved for an isolated black hole.


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