Dr Jan B Gutowski: Research
I am a member of the Fields, Strings & Geometry group in the Department of
Mathematics at Surrey.
My interests are in higher dimensional gravity, black holes, and more generally supersymmetric solutions in String Theory.
The question I am currently working on is deceptively simple...
Are all black holes spherical, or can they have other shapes?
In four dimensions, we know that all black holes have spherical horizons.
But in five dimensions, there are more unusual solutions - as well as the usual spherical black holes, whose event horizons are three-dimensional spheres, there are also black rings.
Black ring horizons are the product of a circle with a two-dimensional sphere.
Even stranger objects, like black Saturns, also exist!
In string/M-theory, we must consider gravitational systems in ten and eleven dimensions, and we expect that there will be many unusual types of generalized black hole solutions.
Their event horizons may be products of spheres, or more complicated geometries, such as manifolds equipped with G2 or Spin(7) structures.
I have constructed classifications of supersymmetric black hole horizon geometries in ten and eleven dimensions. By analyzing the global properties of
these geometries, constructing generalized Lichnerowicz theorems, and making use of index theory, I have shown that these generically have more symmetry than we might naively expect! More to come soon...
For a more detailed (but reasonably readable!) description of my work see here.
For a (reasonably up-to-date!) list of related publications, see here.