Extremal black holes in dynamical Chern-Simons gravity

Robert McNees, Leo C. Stein, Nicolás Yunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rapidly rotating black hole (BH) solutions in theories beyond general relativity (GR) play a key role in experimental gravity, as they allow us to compute observables in extreme spacetimes that deviate from the predictions of GR. Such solutions are often difficult to find in beyond-general-relativity theories due to the inclusion of additional fields that couple to the metric nonlinearly and non-minimally. In this paper, we consider rotating BH solutions in one such theory, dynamical Chern-Simons (dCS) gravity, where the Einstein-Hilbert action is modified by the introduction of a dynamical scalar field that couples to the metric through the Pontryagin density. We treat dCS gravity as an effective field theory and work in the decoupling limit, where corrections are treated as small perturbations from GR. We perturb about the maximally rotating Kerr solution, the so-called extremal limit, and develop mathematical insight into the analysis techniques needed to construct solutions for generic spin. First we find closed-form, analytic expressions for the extremal scalar field, and then determine the trace of the metric perturbation, giving both in terms of Legendre decompositions. Retaining only the first three and four modes in the Legendre representation of the scalar field and the trace, respectively, suffices to ensure a fidelity of over 99% relative to full numerical solutions. The leading-order mode in the Legendre expansion of the trace of the metric perturbation contains a logarithmic divergence at the extremal Kerr horizon, which is likely to be unimportant as it occurs inside the perturbed dCS horizon. The techniques employed here should enable the construction of analytic, closed-form expressions for the scalar field and metric perturbations on a background with arbitrary rotation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235013
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 8 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • dynamical Chern-Simons gravity
  • modified theories of gravity
  • rotating black holes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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