Department of Physics Papers

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In a theory where the cosmological constant Λ or the gauge coupling constant g arises as the vacuum expectation value, its variation should be included in the first law of thermodynamics for black holes. This becomes dE=TdS+ΩidJiαdQα+ΘdΛ, where E is now the enthalpy of the spacetime, and Θ, the thermodynamic conjugate of Λ, is proportional to an effective volume V=-16πΘ/D-2 “inside the event horizon.” Here we calculate Θ and V for a wide variety of D-dimensional charged rotating asymptotically anti-de Sitter (AdS) black hole spacetimes, using the first law or the Smarr relation. We compare our expressions with those obtained by implementing a suggestion of Kastor, Ray, and Traschen, involving Komar integrals and Killing potentials, which we construct from conformal Killing-Yano tensors. We conjecture that the volume V and the horizon area A satisfy the inequality R≡ ((D-1)V/AD-2)1/(D-1)(AD-2/A)1/(D-2)≥1, where AD-2 is the volume of the unit (D-2) sphere, and we show that this is obeyed for a wide variety of black holes, and saturated for Schwarzschild-AdS. Intriguingly, this inequality is the “inverse” of the isoperimetric inequality for a volume V in Euclidean (D-1) space bounded by a surface of area A, for which R≤1. Our conjectured reverse isoperimetric inequality can be interpreted as the statement that the entropy inside a horizon of a given ”volume” V is maximized for Schwarzschild-AdS. The thermodynamic definition of V requires a cosmological constant (or gauge coupling constant). However, except in seven dimensions, a smooth limit exists where Λ or g goes to zero, providing a definition of V even for asymptotically flat black holes.


Cvetič, M., Gibbons, G.W., Kubizňák, D. & Pope, C.N. (2011). Black hole enthalpy and an entropy inequality for the thermodynamic volume. Phys. Rev. D 84, 024037.

© 2011 American Physical Society

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Date Posted: 20 January 2012

This document has been peer reviewed.