Dr. Sharmanthie Fernando
Research Statement of Dr. Sharmanthie Fernando
My research is based on General Theory of Relativity. General Theory of Relativity is a geometric theory and it relates the matter and energy content of the universe to the curvature of space-time. One of the profound predictions of General Theory of Relativity is the existence of black holes in our universe. I have worked on number of topics on black holes in the past: solutions to Einstein’s equations, gravitational lensing, quasi-normal modes of black holes, black holes as particle accelerators, particle motion around black holes, thermodynamics of black holes etc. Currently I am involved in several projects. I will describe two of them here.
Characteristic oscillations of black holes
When a bell is struck, the tone of the bell is identified by the frequencies of the waves it emits. Similarly, a black hole can have its own characteristic frequencies and they are called quasi-normal modes(QNM). When a black hole space-time is perturbed by various types of fields such as scalar fields, Dirac fields and photons, the resulting oscillations are dissipative in nature due to the presence of a horizon around the black hole. Currently we are studying such perturbations and corresponding frequencies in order to have a deeper understanding of the properties of black holes.
Thermodynamics of black holes
Due to the seminal work of Hawking and Bekenstein, the subject of black hole thermodynamics has attracted lot of attention. There have been many interesting results in black hole thermodynamic recently. For example, charged black holes with a negative cosmological constant have been shown to undergo a phase transition similar to Van der Waals, liquid-gas phase transition. I am interested in studying such analogue behavior between gravitational systems such as black holes and condensed matter systems.