The delocalized effective degrees of freedom of a black hole at low frequencies

Barak Kol*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Identifying the fundamental degrees of freedom of a black hole poses a long-standing puzzle. Recently Goldberger and Rothstein forwarded a theory of the low frequency degrees of freedom within the effective field theory approach, where they are relevancy ordered but of unclear physical origin. Here these degrees of freedom are identified with near-horizon but non-compact gravitational perturbations which are decomposed into delocalized multipoles. Their world-line (kinetic) action is determined within the classical effective field theory (CLEFT) approach and their interactions are discussed. The case of the long-wavelength scattering of a scalar wave off a Schwarzschild black hole is treated in some detail, interpreting within the CLEFT approach the equality of the leading absorption cross section with the horizon area.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2061-2068
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral Relativity and Gravitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments I would like to thank the members of our group for comments on a talk. This research is supported by The Israel Science Foundation grant no 607/05, DIP grant H.52, EU grant MRTN-CT-2004-512194 and the Einstein Center at the Hebrew University.


  • Black holes
  • Effective field theory


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