A simpler approach to describing black holes

A simpler approach to describing black holes

Artistic vision of the black hole event horizon

The astrophysicists of the PFU (Peoples' Friendship University of Russia) proposed an approach to simplifying the calculations of the observed effects in the vicinity of black holes, to which the mathematical apparatus of Einstein’s classical theory of relativity is not used. The general theory of relativity says that the movement of any massive body leads to the appearance of space-time ripples (gravitational waves). For the first time they were able to register in 2015. Gravitational waves are an echo from the confluence of massive gravitational objects, like black holes. In these areas, gravity is so powerful that even the light cannot escape.

The discovery of gravitational waves forced scientists to revise the old theories explaining the structure and characteristics of black holes, and take up the development of new ones. In some cases, the Einstein equations turned out to be erroneous. In an attempt to understand a number of fundamental issues (dark matter, dark energy, and quantum gravity), several generalized theories have arisen.

In anticipation of new observations of gravitational waves, theorists analyzed existing effects from the position of different gravitational theories. At the same time, problems arose, one of which lies in the complexity of calculations — a huge array of data and capacious numerical integrations are required to be processed. In addition, the characteristics of different parts of space-time can be described by several functions. Black holes are described by elegant equations only in Einstein's theory — it is simple and has certain symmetric features. But the characteristic of black holes requires complex equations, large teams and supercomputers. In any equation there are several members. Each of them is responsible for a certain system parameter and is associated with the main relatively stable characteristics. These relationships can be extremely complex, so experts try to avoid them by making assumptions and approximations.

In the new work, the scientists at RUDN showed that the process of solving some non-Einstein theories can be simplified. Comparing the expected and observed results, it was found that the effects of some members that distort elegant symmetry are so small that they can be neglected. Having obtained the result describing the position of the object, it is compared with the physical data. If the values ​​are similar, then the simplified equation is considered correct.

The astrophysicists of the RUDN University outlined a way to solve another problem. Perhaps we lack the true theory of gravity. Then, when describing black holes, theorists should use equations that take into account the parameters of each particular theory. All this requires complex calculations, but the new approach will make them much easier. It is important to understand that the laws governing black holes differ from classical or quantum physics. Moreover, it is still not clear whether we understand them correctly. The study of black holes will reveal the universal patterns of development and predict the fate of the universe.

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