Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Black hole quasibound states from a draining bathtub vortex flow


Sam Patrick

Antonin Coutant



Quasinormal modes are a set of damped resonances that describe how an excited open system is driven back to equilibrium. In gravitational physics these modes characterize the ringdown of a perturbed black hole, e.g., following a binary black hole merger. A careful analysis of the ringdown spectrum reveals the properties of the black hole, such as its angular momentum and mass. In more complex gravitational systems, the spectrum might depend on more parameters and hence allows us to search for new physics. We present a hydrodynamic analog of a rotating black hole that illustrates how the presence of extra structure affects the quasinormal mode spectrum. The analogy is obtained by considering wave scattering on a draining bathtub vortex flow. We show that due to vorticity of the background flow, the resulting field theory corresponds to a scalar field on an effective curved spacetime which acquires a local mass in the vortex core. The obtained quasinormal mode spectrum exhibits long-lived trapped modes, commonly known as quasibound states. Our findings can be tested in future experiments building upon recent successful implementations of analog rotating black holes.


Patrick, S., Coutant, A., Richartz, M., & Weinfurtner, S. (2018). Black hole quasibound states from a draining bathtub vortex flow. Physical Review Letters, 121(6), doi:10.1103/physrevlett.121.061101. ISSN 0031-9007

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 26, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 7, 2018
Publication Date Aug 10, 2018
Deposit Date Sep 6, 2018
Publicly Available Date Sep 7, 2018
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 121
Issue 6
Article Number 061101
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations