Brandon Carter

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Brandon Carter

Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Known forAnthropic principle
Carter constant
No-hair theorem
Carter–Penrose diagrams
Doomsday argument
Scientific career
FieldsGeneral relativity
Doctoral advisorDennis Sciama

Brandon Carter, FRS (born 1942) is an Australian theoretical physicist, best known for his work on the properties of black holes and for being the first to name and employ the anthropic principle in its contemporary form. He is a researcher at the Meudon campus of the Laboratoire Univers et Théories, part of the CNRS.


Carter studied at the University of Cambridge under Dennis Sciama. He found the exact solution of the geodesic equations for the Kerr/Newman electrovacuum solution, and the maximal analytic extension of this solution. In the process, he discovered the extraordinary fourth constant of motion and the Killing–Yano tensor. Together with Werner Israel and Stephen Hawking, he proved partially the no-hair theorem in general relativity, stating that all stationary black holes are completely characterized by mass, charge, and angular momentum. In 1982 with astrophysicist Jean-Pierre Luminet, he invented the concept of tidal disruption event (TDE), namely the destruction of a star passing in the vicinity of a supermassive black hole. They showed that this phenomenon could result in the violent destruction of the star in the form of a "stellar pancake", causing a reactivation of nuclear reactions in the core of the star in the stage of its maximum compression. More recently, Carter, Chachoua, and Chamel (2005) have formulated a relativistic theory of elastic deformations in neutron stars.


  • Carter, B. (1968). "Global structure of the Kerr family of gravitational fields". Phys. Rev. 174 (5): 1559–1571. Bibcode:1968PhRv..174.1559C. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.174.1559.
  • Carter, B. (1968). "Hamilton-Jacobi and Schrödinger separable solutions of Einstein's equations". Commun. Math. Phys. 10 (4): 280–310. Bibcode:1968CMaPh..10..280C. doi:10.1007/BF03399503. S2CID 122098509.
  • Carter, B. (1970). "An axisymmetric black hole has only two degrees of freedom". Phys. Rev. Lett. 26 (6): 331–333. Bibcode:1971PhRvL..26..331C. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.26.331.
  • Carter, B.; & Hartle, J. B. (Editors) (1987). Gravitation in astrophysics, Cargese, 1986. New York: Plenum Press. ISBN 0-306-42590-4. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Carter, B. & Luminet, J.- P. (1982) "Pancake Detonation of Stars by Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei". Nature 296, 211 (1982)
  • Carter, B.; & Chachoua, Elie & Chamel, Nicolas (2006). "Covariant Newtonian and Relativistic dynamics of (magneto)-elastic solid model for neutron star crust". General Relativity and Gravitation. 38 (1): 83–119. arXiv:gr-qc/0507006. Bibcode:2006GReGr..38...83C. doi:10.1007/s10714-005-0210-0. S2CID 1860044.

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