BTZ black hole

BTZ black hole

The BTZ black hole, named after black hole solution for (2+1)-dimensional gravity with a negative cosmological constant.


  • History 1
  • Properties 2
  • The case without charge 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


In 1992 Bañados, Teitelboim and Zanelli discovered BTZ black hole(Bañados, Teitelboim & Zanelli 1992). At that time, it came as a surprise because it is believed that no black hole solutions are shown to exist for a negative cosmological constant and BTZ black hole has remarkably similar properties to the 3+1 dimensional black hole, which would exist in our real universe.

When the cosmological constant is zero, a vacuum solution of (2+1)-dimensional gravity is necessarily flat, and it can be shown that no black hole solutions with event horizons exist. By introducing dilatons, we can have black holes. We do have conical angle deficit solutions, but they don't have event horizons. It therefore came as a surprise when black hole solutions were shown to exist for a negative cosmological constant.


The similarities to the ordinary black holes in 3+1 dimensions:

  • It has "no hairs" (No hair theorem) and is fully characterized by ADM-mass, angular momentum and charge.
  • It has the same thermodynamical properties as the ordinary black holes, e.g. its entropy is captured by a law directly analogous to the Bekenstein bound in (3+1)-dimensions, essentially with the surface area replaced by the BTZ black hole's circumference.
  • Like the Kerr black hole, a rotating BTZ black hole contains an inner and an outer horizon. see also Ergosphere.

Since (2+1)-dimensional gravity has no Newtonian limit, one might fear that the BTZ black hole is not the final state of a gravitational collapse. It was however shown, that this black hole could arise from collapsing matter and we can calculate the energy-moment tensor of BTZ as same as (3+1) black holes. (Carlip 1995) section 3 Black Holes and Gravitational Collapse.

The BTZ solution is often discussed in the realm on (2+1)-dimensional quantum gravity.

The case without charge

The metric in the absence of charge is

ds^2 = -\frac{(r^2 - r_+^2)(r^2 - r_-^2)}{l^2 r^2}dt^2 + \frac{l^2 r^2 dr^2}{(r^2 - r_+^2)(r^2 - r_-^2)} + r^2 \left(d\phi - \frac{r_+ r_-}{l r^2} dt \right)^2

where r_+,~r_- are the black hole radii and l is the radius of AdS3 space. The mass and angular momentum of the black hole is

M = \frac{r_+^2 + r_-^2}{l^2},~~~~~J = \frac{2r_+ r_-}{l}

BTZ black holes without any electric charge are locally isometric to anti-de Sitter space. More precisely, it corresponds to an orbifold of the universal covering space of AdS3.

A rotating BTZ black hole admits closed timelike curves.

See also


  • Bañados, Máximo; Teitelboim, Claudio; Zanelli, Jorge (1992), The Black hole in three-dimensional space-time, Phys.Rev.Lett. 69,  url=
  • Carlip, Steven (2005), Conformal Field Theory, (2+1)-Dimensional Gravity, and the BTZ Black Hole, arxiv url=
  • Carlip, Steven (1995), The (2+1)-Dimensional Black Hole, arxiv url=
  • Bañados, Máximo (1999), Three-dimensional quantum geometry and black holes, arxiv url=
  • Daisuke, Ida (2000), No Black Hole Theorem in Three-Dimensional Gravity, Phys. Rev. Lett. 85 3758  url=