Superradiance in a Torus Magnetosphere Around a Black Hole

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Science  02 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5411, pp. 115-118
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.115

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The coalescence of a neutron star and a black hole in a binary system is believed to form a torus around a Kerr black hole. A similarly shaped magnetosphere then results from the remnant magnetic field of the neutron star. In the strong-field case, it contains a cavity for plasma waves located between the barrier of the gravitational potential and the surrounding torus. This cavity may be unstable to superradiance of electromagnetic waves. Superradiant amplification of such waves, initially excited by turbulence in the torus, should inflate into a bubble in a time as short as ∼0.75 (1 percent/|ε|2)(M/7M ) seconds ∼0.15 to 1.5 seconds, assuming an efficiency |ε|2 = 0.5 to 5 percent and a mass M= 7M . These bubbles may burst and repeat, of possible relevance to intermittency in cosmological γ-ray bursts. The model predicts γ-ray bursts to be anticorrelated with their gravitational wave emissions.

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