The Kerr geometry is believed to represent the exterior spacetime of astrophysical black holes. We here reanalyze the geometry of Kerr-like metrics (Kerr, Kerr-Newman, Kerr-de Sitter, and Kerr-anti-de Sitter), paying particular attention to the region near the singular set. We find that, although the Kretschmann scalar vanishes at the singular set along a given direction, a certain combination of curvature invariants diverges regardless of the direction of approach. We also find that the two-dimensional geometry induced by the spacetime metric on the orbits of the isometry group also possesses a singularity regardless of the direction of approach. Likewise, the two-dimensional geometry in the directions orthogonal to the isometry orbits is C2-divergent, but extends continuously at the singular set as a cone with opening angle 4π. We conclude by showing that tidal forces lead to infinite stresses on neighboring geodesics that approach the singular set, destroying any such observers in finite proper time. Those geodesics that come in from infinity and do not hit the singular set but approach it are found to need tremendous energy to get close to the singular set, experiencing an acceleration transversal to the equatorial plane which grows without bound when the minimal distance of approach goes to zero. While establishing these results, we also present an alternative description of some other known properties, as well as introducing toroidal coordinates that provide a hands-on description of the double covering for the geometry near the singular set.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)