Minimal conditions for the existence of a Hawking-like flux

Research paper by Carlos Barcelo, Stefano Liberati, Sebastiano Sonego, Matt Visser

Indexed on: 25 Nov '10Published on: 25 Nov '10Published in: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology


We investigate the minimal conditions that an asymptotically flat general relativistic spacetime must satisfy in order for a Hawking-like Planckian flux of particles to arrive at future null infinity. We demonstrate that there is no requirement that any sort of horizon form anywhere in the spacetime. We find that the irreducible core requirement is encoded in an approximately exponential "peeling" relationship between affine coordinates on past and future null infinity. As long as a suitable adiabaticity condition holds, then a Planck-distributed Hawking-like flux will arrive at future null infinity with temperature determined by the e-folding properties of the outgoing null geodesics. The temperature of the Hawking-like flux can slowly evolve as a function of time. We also show that the notion of "peeling" of null geodesics is distinct, and in general different, from the usual notion of "inaffinity" used in Hawking's definition of surface gravity.