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Hofmann, Stefan; Kögler, Maximilian and Niedermann, Florian (2021): Perturbative quantum consistency near black-hole horizon formation. In: Physical Review D, Vol. 104, No. 12, 125007

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We study the prelude to black-hole formation using a suspended shell composed of physical matter that fulfills the dominant energy condition. Here, the collapse of the shell is brought to rest when the formation of the horizon is imminent but has not yet occurred. As the main achievement of this work, we obtain the Feynman propagator which connects the interior and the exterior of the shell within two local coordinate patches. It is derived by drawing an analogy to the propagation of light across interfaces that separate regions with different susceptibilities inside a medium. As a first application, we use this propagator to determine the vacuum persistence amplitude in the presence of external sources. On timescales much shorter than the Page time, we find that the amplitude builds up with time yet remains consistent with perturbative unitarity.

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