**Abstract: **An accurate computational method is presented for determining the mass distribution in a mature spiral galaxy from a given rotation curve by applying Newtonian dynamics for an axisymmetrically rotating thin disk of finite size with or without a central spherical bulge. The governing integral equation for mass distribution is transformed via a boundary-element method into a linear algebra matrix equation that can be solved numerically for rotation curves with a wide range of shapes. To illustrate the effectiveness of this computational method, mass distributions in several mature spiral galaxies are determined from their measured rotation curves. All the surface mass density profiles predicted by our model exhibit approximately a common exponential law of decay, quantitatively consistent with the observed surface brightness distributions. When a central spherical bulge is present, the mass distribution in the galaxy is altered in such a way that the periphery mass density is reduced, while more mass appears toward the galactic center. By extending the computational domain beyond the galactic edge, we can determine the rotation velocity outside the cut-off radius, which appears to continuously decrease and to gradually approach the Keplerian rotation velocity out over twice the cut-off radius. An examination of circular orbit stability suggests that galaxies with flat or rising rotation velocities are more stable than those with declining rotation velocities especially in the region near the galactic edge. Our results demonstrate the fact that Newtonian dynamics can be adequate for describing the observed rotation behavior of mature spiral galaxies.

**Abstract: **The past year has seen an explosion of new and old ideas about black hole physics. Prior to the firewall paper, the dominant picture was the thermofield model apparently implied by anti-de Sitter conformal field theory duality. While some seek a narrow responce to Almheiri, Marolf, Polchinski, and Sully (AMPS) , there are a number of competing models. One problem in the field is the ambiguity of the competing proposals. Some are equivalent while others incompatible. This paper will attempt to define and classify a few models representative of the current discussions.

**Abstract: **We discuss the production of massive relic coherent gravitons in a particular class of ƒ(R) gravity, which arises from string theory, and their possible imprint in the Cosmic Microwave Background. In fact, in the very early Universe, these relic gravitons could have acted as slow gravity waves. They may have then acted to focus the geodesics of radiation and matter. Therefore, their imprint on the later evolution of the Universe could appear as filaments and a domain wall in the Universe today. In that case, the effect on the Cosmic Microwave Background should be analogous to the effect of water waves, which, in focusing light, create optical caustics, which are commonly seen on the bottom of swimming pools. We analyze this important issue by showing how relic massive gravity waves (GWs) perturb the trajectories of the Cosmic Microwave Background photons (gravitational lensing by relic GWs). The consequence of the type of physics discussed is outlined by illustrating an amplification of what might be called optical chaos.

**Abstract: **In this review we summarize, expand, and set in context recent developments on the thermodynamics of black holes in extended phase space, where the cosmological constant is interpreted as thermodynamic pressure and treated as a thermodynamic variable in its own right. We specifically consider the thermodynamics of higher-dimensional rotating asymptotically flat and AdS black holes and black rings in a canonical (fixed angular momentum) ensemble. We plot the associated thermodynamic potential—the Gibbs free energy—and study its behavior to uncover possible thermodynamic phase transitions in these black hole spacetimes. We show that the multiply-rotating Kerr-AdS black holes exhibit a rich set of interesting thermodynamic phenomena analogous to the “every day thermodynamics” of simple substances, such as reentrant phase transitions of multicomponent liquids, multiple first-order solid/liquid/gas phase transitions, and liquid/gas phase transitions of the van derWaals type. Furthermore, the reentrant phase transitions also occur for multiply-spinning asymptotically flat Myers–Perry black holes. These phenomena do not require a variable cosmological constant, though they are more naturally understood in the context of the extended phase space. The thermodynamic volume, a quantity conjugate to the thermodynamic pressure, is studied for AdS black rings and demonstrated to satisfy the reverse isoperimetric inequality; this provides a first example of calculation confirming the validity of isoperimetric inequality conjecture for a black hole with non-spherical horizon topology. The equation of state *P = P(V,T)* is studied for various black holes both numerically and analytically—in the ultraspinning and slow rotation regimes.

**Abstract: **The visible mass of the observable universe agrees with that needed for a flat cosmos, and the reason for this is not known. It is shown that this can be explained by modelling the Hubble volume as a black hole that emits Hawking radiation inwards, disallowing wavelengths that do not fit exactly into the Hubble diameter, since partial waves would allow an inference of what lies outside the horizon. This model of “horizon wave censorship” is equivalent to a Hubble-scale Casimir effect. This incomplete toy model is presented to stimulate discussion. It predicts a minimum mass and acceleration for the observable universe which are in agreement with the observed mass and acceleration, and predicts that the observable universe gains mass as it expands and was hotter in the past. It also predicts a suppression of variation on the largest cosmic scales that agrees with the low-l cosmic microwave background anomaly seen by the Planck satellite.

**Abstract: **Dark energy with negative pressure and positive energy density is believed to be responsible for the accelerated expansion of the universe. Quite a few theoretical models of dark energy are based on tachyonic fields interacting with itself and normal (bradyonic) matter. Here, we propose an experimental model of tachyonic dark energy based on hyperbolic metamaterials. Wave equation describing propagation of extraordinary light inside hyperbolic metamaterials exhibits 2 + 1 dimensional Lorentz symmetry. The role of time in the corresponding effective 3D Minkowski spacetime is played by the spatial coordinate aligned with the optical axis of the metamaterial. Nonlinear optical Kerr effect bends this spacetime resulting in effective gravitational force between extraordinary photons. We demonstrate that this model has a self-interacting tachyonic sector having negative effective pressure and positive effective energy density. Moreover, a composite multilayer SiC-Si hyperbolic metamaterial exhibits closely separated tachyonic and bradyonic sectors in the long wavelength infrared range. This system may be used as a laboratory model of inflation and late time acceleration of the universe.