Detecting Energy Emissions from a Rotating Black Hole

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Science  08 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5561, pp. 1874-1877
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068634

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The rotational energy of a black hole surrounded by a torus is released through several channels. We have determined that a minor fraction of the energy is released in baryon-poor outflows from a differentially rotating open magnetic flux tube, and a major fraction of about η/2 is released in gravitational radiation by the torus with angular velocity η ∼ 0.2 to 0.5 relative to that of the black hole. We associate the energy emitted in baryon-poor outflows with gamma-ray bursts. The remaining fraction is released in torus winds, thermal emissions, and (conceivably) megaelectron-volt neutrino emissions. The emitted gravitational radiation can be detected by gravitational wave experiments and provides a method for identifying Kerr black holes in the Universe.

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