Quasi-normal modes describe small perturbations of a black hole at equilibrium. A black hole is a thermodynamical system whose (Hawking) temperature and entropy are given in terms of its global characteristics (total mass, charge and angular momentum). In general, quasi-normal modes are obtained by solving a wave equation for small fluctuations subject to the conditions that the flux be ingoing at the horizon and outgoing at asymptotic infinity. One then obtains a discrete spectrum of complex frequencies. The imaginary part of these frequencies determines the decay time of the small fluctuations.
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