Black holes drive powerful plasma jets to relativistic velocities. This plasma should be collisionless, and self-consistently supplied by pair creation near the horizon. We present general-relativistic collisionless plasma simulations of Kerr-black-hole magnetospheres which begin from vacuum, inject e± pairs based on local unscreened electric fields, and reach steady states with electromagnetically powered Blandford-Znajek jets and persistent current sheets. Particles with negative energy at infinity are a general feature, and can contribute significantly to black-hole rotational-energy extraction in a variant of the Penrose process. The generated plasma distribution depends on the pair-creation environment, and we describe two distinct realizations of the force-free electrodynamic solution. This sensitivity suggests that plasma kinetics will be useful in interpreting future horizon-resolving submillimeter and infrared observations.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- January 2019
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- Physics - Plasma Physics
- 6 pages, 4 figures. Submitted to PRL