Extraction of Black Hole Rotational Energy by a Magnetic Field and the Formation of Relativistic Jets

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Science  01 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5560, pp. 1688-1691
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068240

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Using numerical simulations, we modeled the general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic behavior of a plasma flowing into a rapidly rotating black hole in a large-scale magnetic field. The results show that a torsional Alfvén wave is generated by the rotational dragging of space near the black hole. The wave transports energy along the magnetic field lines outward, causing the total energy of the plasma near the hole to decrease to negative values. When this negative energy plasma enters the horizon, the rotational energy of the black hole decreases. Through this process, the energy of the spinning black hole is extracted magnetically

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