Doctoral students at the University of Arizona, Leah Medeiros, are developing mathematical models that will allow researchers to compare Einstein's general theory of relativity with the most powerful monsters of the Universe - supermassive black holes. One of these is Sagittarius A *, living in the center of the Milky Way.
Medeiros has developed a diagnostic tool that astronomers can use to compare upcoming observations of supermassive black holes using the Event Horizon telescope and predictions of mathematical models. Thus, it will be possible to check whether black holes behave as scientists expect.
Astronomers believe that the shape of the shadow is considered a property of the geometry of space-time and does not depend on accretionary or astrophysical effects. Medeiros uses computer simulations of the black hole shadow (predicted by the general theory of relativity) to test the Kerr metric — solving Einstein's equations describing the characteristics of black holes. The scientist managed to simulate a large number of black hole shadows that deviate from the Kerr indices, and to develop a method for using future observations with the Event Horizon telescope. If black holes meet the expectations of researchers, then the new method will allow to quantify how far the theory is from these predictions. It will also eliminate other theories.