Black hole scalarization


  • Hector Da Silva Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Germany


General Relativity remains our best description of gravitational phenomena. Nonetheless, issues such as its quantization and the cosmological constant problem suggest that Einstein's theory might not be the final theory of gravitational interaction. Motivated by these questions, theorists have proposed many extensions to General Relativity over the decades. In this presentation, I will focus on theories with extra scalar fields. In particular, I will describe how some of these theories can evade Solar System constraints and yield new effects in the strong-gravity regime of compact objects, i.e., neutron stars and black holes. This is achieved through a process known as spontaneous scalarization, in which the compact object grows "scalar hair" once certain conditions are met and remains "bald" otherwise. I will review the basics of this effect and then give a short bird's-eye view of our understanding of scalarization for black holes both in isolation and binaries.

About the Speaker

Hector Da Silva, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Germany

Hector Da Silva is a postdoctoral researcher and Leibniz fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Potsdam, Germany. He received his doctorate degree in 2017 from the University of Mississippi, after which he did three years of postdoctoral work, first at Montana State University and then at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in the USA. His research interests are in relativistic astrophysics and theoretical gravitational physics, where he investigates various topics related to neutron stars and black holes, including tests of general relativity and gravitational waveform modeling for compact binaries.



Article ID



Invited Presentations



How to Cite

H Da Silva, Black hole scalarization, Proceedings of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas 41, SPP-2023-INV-1G-02 (2023). URL: