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How to observe a non-Kerr spacetime

By Theocharis A. Apostolatos, Georgios Lukes-Gerakopoulos and George Contopoulos


We present a generic criterion which can be used in gravitational-wave data analysis to distinguish an extreme-mass-ratio inspiral into a Kerr background spacetime from one into a non-Kerr background spacetime. The criterion exploits the fact that when an integrable system, such as the system that describes geodesic orbits in a Kerr spacetime, is perturbed, the tori in phase space which initially corresponded to resonances disintegrate so as to form the so called Birkhoff chains on a surface of section, according to the Poincar\'{e}-Birkhoff theorem. The KAM curves of these islands in such a chain share the same ratio of frequencies, even though the frequencies themselves vary from one KAM curve to another inside an island. On the other hand, the KAM curves, which do not lie in a Birkhoff chain, do not share this characteristic property. Such a temporal constancy of the ratio of frequencies during the evolution of the gravitational-wave signal will signal a non-Kerr spacetime which could then be further explored.Comment: 4 pages, 2 figure

Topics: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
Publisher: 'American Physical Society (APS)'
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.111101
OAI identifier:

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