Princeton Astrophysics researchers Bart Ripperda and Sasha Philippov recently published a study demonstrating that magnetized black holes undergo rapid reconnection due to plasma effects, so that the ``no-hair’’ theorem is satisfied. Reconnection occurs at 10% of the speed of light; “The fast reconnection saved the no-hair conjecture,” according to Ripperda. This evidence of reconnection, which may also explain flares observed from near supermassive black holes, was based on general-relativistic supercomputer simulation of a black hole. A publication, co-authored by Columbia graduate student Ashley Bransgrove, has been published in the July 27 issue of PRL.
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