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One of the plausible unification schemes in physics considers the observable universe to be a 4-dimensional surface (the “brane”) embedded in a higher-dimensional curved spacetime (the “bulk”). In such braneworld gravity models with infinitely large extra dimensions, black holes evaporate through the emission of the additional gravitational degrees of freedom, resulting in lifetimes of stellar-mass black holes that are significantly smaller than the Hubble time. We show that the predicted evaporation rate leads to a change in the orbital period of X-ray binaries harboring black holes that is observable with current instruments. We obtain an upper limit on the rate of change of the orbital period of the binary A0620-00 and use it to constrain the asymptotic curvature radius of the extra dimension to a value comparable to the one obtained by table-top experiments. Subject headings: gravitation — black hole physics — X-rays: binaries — stars: individual (A0620-00) — X-rays: stars 1

Year: 2008

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