Cosmology Seminar: The Thermodynamics of Black Holes

Dr Brian Dolan, Heriot-Watt University

Wednesday 05 February 2014, 1400-1500
C1 Physics Building

In 1974 Hawking discovered that black holes have a temperature associated with them and can radiate thermal energy. The Hawking effect will be explained at an elementary level and the subject of black hole thermodynamics reviewed. The role of pressure and volume will be highlighted and the equation of state discussed. It will be shown that black holes can exhibit phase transitions that are in the same universality class as the van der Waals gas and some consequences of this observation will be explored.