Mechanics of isolated horizons

Abhay Ashtekar, Christopher Beetle, Stephen Fairhurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations


A set of boundary conditions defining an undistorted, non-rotating isolated horizon are specified in general relativity. A spacetime representing a black hole which is itself in equilibrium but whose exterior contains radiation admits such a horizon. However, the definition is applicable in a more general context, such as cosmological horizons. Physically motivated, (quasi-)local definitions of the mass and surface gravity of an isolated horizon are introduced and their properties analysed. Although their definitions do not refer to infinity, these quantities assume their standard values in the static black-hole 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)253-298
Number of pages46
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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