Isolated horizons: A generalization of black hole mechanics

Abhay Ashtekar, Christopher Beetle, Stephen Fairhurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


A set of boundary conditions defining a non-rotating isolated horizon are given in Einstein-Maxwell theory. A spacetime representing a black hole which itself is in equilibrium but whose exterior contains radiation admits such a horizon. Physically motivated, (quasi-)local definitions of the mass and surface gravity of an isolated horizon are introduced. Although these definitions do not refer to infinity, the quantities assume their standard values in Reissner-Nordström solutions. Finally, using these definitions, the zeroth and first laws of black hole mechanics are established for isolated horizons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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