Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-25-2012

Publication Title

Physical Review D






We consider black holes in an “unsuitable box”: a finite cavity coupled to a thermal reservoir at a temperature different than the black hole’s Hawking temperature. These black holes are described by metrics that are continuous but not differentiable due to a conical singularity at the horizon. We include them in the Euclidean path integral sum over configurations, and analyze the effect this has on black hole thermodynamics in the canonical ensemble. Black holes with a small deficit (or surplus) angle may have a smaller internal energy or larger density of states than the nearby smooth black hole, but they always have a larger free energy. Furthermore, we find that the ground state of the ensemble never possesses a conical singularity. When the ground state is a black hole, the contributions to the canonical partition function from configurations with a conical singularity are comparable to the contributions from smooth fluctuations of the fields around the black hole background. Our focus is on highly symmetric black holes that can be treated as solutions of two-dimensional dilaton gravity models: examples include Schwarzschild, asymptotically Anti-de Sitter, and stringy black holes.


Author Posting. (c) American Physical Society, 2012. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the American Physical Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Physical Review D, 80, 12 (2012)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.