Testing the no-hair theorem with observations of black holes in the electromagnetic spectrum

Tim Johannsen, Dimitrios Psaltis

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

According to the no-hair theorem, astrophysical black holes are uniquely described by their mass and spin. In this paper, we review a new framework for testing the no-hair hypothesis with observations in the electromagnetic spectrum. The approach is formulated in terms of a Kerr-like spacetime containing a quadrupole moment that is independent of both mass and spin. If the no-hair theorem is correct, then any deviation from the Kerr metric quadrupole has to be zero. We show how upcoming VLBI imaging observations of Sgr A as well as spectroscopic observations of iron lines from accreting black holes with IXO may lead to the first astrophysical test of the no-hair theorem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-532
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

Keywords

  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Black hole physics
  • Galaxy: center
  • Gravitation
  • Gravitational lensing: strong
  • Line: profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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