Authors: Tim Johannsen (Arizona)
Date: 27 May 2011
Abstract: The no-hair theorem characterizes the fundamental nature of black holes in general relativity. This theorem can be tested observationally by measuring the mass and spin of a black hole as well as its quadrupole moment, which may deviate from the expected Kerr value. Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, is a prime candidate for such tests thanks to its large angular size, high brightness, and rich population of nearby stars. In this review I discuss a new theoretical framework for a test of the no-hair theorem that is ideal for imaging observations of Sgr A* with very-long baseline interferometry (VLBI). The approach is formulated in terms of a Kerr-like spacetime that depends on a free parameter and is regular everywhere outside of the event horizon. Together with the results from astrometric and timing observations, VLBI imaging of Sgr A* may lead to a secure test of the no-hair theorem.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis