Penrose At Work
by Cen, Renyue
6 pages, no figure, submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters
If a supermassive black hole has some material orbiting around it at close to its innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO), then, when it plunges into a second supermassive black hole, the orbiting material has a velocity dispersion of order of speed of light about the orbital velocity of its host black hole. It becomes plausible that some of the orbiting material will be “catapulted” to the negative-energy ergosphere orbits of the second black hole at the plunge. This may provide an astrophysically plausible way to extract energy from the black hole, originally suggested by Penrose.