Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics.


Glass, E. N.,




An in depth study of general relativistic gravitational collapse is done using the massless scalar field as the material model in a spherically symmetric space-time. Particular attention is paid to the critical regime which separates black hole formation and field dispersal. It is found that at this threshold certain field variables display discrete self-similarity with a period of $\Delta\sb{\rm t}\approx e\sp{-3.45}$ and with each repetition on a spatial scale $\rm\Delta\sb{r}\approx31.4$ times smaller. These findings are in agreement with behaviour discovered by Choptuik. A study of black hole masses which form satisfies a power law with the critical exponent $\gamma=0.364.$ Also, it is found that near the origin there can exist regions of high curvature which will be visible to distant observers. Contrary to what was expected, bifurcation in the light cone structure near the origin between cases where infinitesimal mass black holes form and cases where conditions are slightly too weak to form a black hole is significant. The study does not use an adaptive mesh technique but instead utilizes null coordinates and an adaptive quadrature technique on a number of different initial data surface profiles therefore providing both independent verification of these phenomena as well as strong support for initial data independence.Dept. of Physics. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1996 .D42. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 37-01, page: 0274. Adviser: E. N. Glass. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1996.