Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Can we observationally test the weak cosmic censorship conjecture?
Department of Physics, Center for Field Theory and Particle Physics, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai, 200433, China
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Accepted: 15 July 2014
Published online: 13 August 2014
In general relativity, gravitational collapse of matter fields ends with the formation of a spacetime singularity, where the matter density becomes infinite and standard physics breaks down. According to the weak cosmic censorship conjecture, singularities produced in the gravitational collapse cannot be seen by distant observers and must be hidden within black holes. The validity of this conjecture is still controversial and at present we cannot exclude that naked singularities can be created in our Universe from regular initial data. In this paper, we study the radiation emitted by a collapsing cloud of dust and check whether it is possible to distinguish the birth of a black hole from the one of a naked singularity. In our simple dust model, we find that the properties of the radiation emitted in the two scenarios is qualitatively similar. That suggests that observational tests of the cosmic censorship conjecture may be very difficult, even in principle.
© SIF and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2014