Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics
Volume 19 (2015)
Horizon instability of extremal black holes
Pages: 507 – 530
We show that axisymmetric extremal horizons are unstable under scalar perturbations. Specifically, we show that translation invariant derivatives of generic solutions to the wave equation do not decay along such horizons as advanced time tends to infinity, and in fact, higher order derivatives blow up. This instability holds in particular for extremal Kerr–Newman and Majumdar–Papapetrou spacetimes and is in stark contrast with the subextremal case for which decay is known for all derivatives along the event horizon.
This result provides a entirely new aspect of the evolution of solutions to the wave equation along degenerate horizons and has a wealth of new applications.