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Near-Horizon Magnetospheres of Rapidly Spinning Black Holes

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Plasma-filled magnetospheres can extract energy from a spinning black hole and provide the power source for a variety of observed astrophysical phenomena. These magnetospheres are described by the highly nonlinear equations of force-free electrodynamics. Typically these equations can only be solved numerically, but they become amenable to analytic solution in the extremal limit when the black hole achieves maximal angular momentum and an infinite-dimensional conformal symmetry emerges in the high-redshift region near its horizon. This constitutes an example of critical behavior in astronomy. We use the near-horizon scaling symmetry of the extreme Kerr metric to determine universal properties of physics near rapidly spinning black holes.