Critical collapse of ultra-relativistic fluids: damping or growth of aspherical deformations

Research paper by Juliana Celestino, Thomas W. Baumgarte

Indexed on: 26 May '18Published on: 26 May '18Published in: arXiv - General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology


We perform fully nonlinear numerical simulations to study aspherical deformations of the critical self-similar solution in the gravitational collapse of ultra-relativistic fluids. Adopting a perturbative calculation, Gundlach predicted that these perturbations behave like damped or growing oscillations, with the frequency and damping (or growth) rates depending on the equation of state. We consider a number of different equations of state and degrees of asphericity and find very good agreement with the findings of Gundlach for polar $\ell = 2$ modes. For sufficiently soft equations of state, the modes are damped, meaning that, in the limit of perfect fine-tuning, the spherically symmetric critical solution is recovered. We find that the degree of asphericity has at most a small effect on the frequency and damping parameter, or on the critical exponents in the power-law scalings. Our findings also confirm, for the first time, Gundlach's prediction that the $\ell = 2$ modes become unstable for sufficiently stiff equations of state. In this regime the spherically symmetric self-similar solution can no longer be recovered by fine-tuning to the black-hole threshold, and one can no longer expect power-law scaling to hold to arbitrarily small scales.