A Precision Test for an Extra Spatial Dimension Using Black Hole--Pulsar Binaries

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics – High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena

Scientific paper

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4 pages; typos fixed; references added

Scientific paper

We discuss the observable effects of enhanced black-hole mass loss in a black hole--neutron star (BH--NS) binary, due to the presence of a warped extra spatial dimension of curvature radius $L$ in the braneworld scenario. For some masses and orbital parameters in the expected ranges the binary components would outspiral, the opposite of the behavior due to energy loss from gravitational radiation alone. If the NS is a pulsar, observations of the rate of change of the orbital period with a precision obtained for the Binary Pulsar B1913+16 could easily detect the effect of mass loss. For $M_{BH}=7M_\odot$, $M_{NS}=1.4M_\odot$, eccentricity $e=0.1$, and $L=10\mu$m, the critical orbital period dividing systems which inspiral from systems which outspiral is P$\approx$6.5 hours, which is within the range of expected orbital periods; this value drops to P$\approx$4.2 hours for $M_{BH}=5M_\odot$. Observations of a BH--pulsar system could set considerably better limits on $L$ in these braneworld models than could be determined by torsion-balance gravity experiments in the foreseeable future.

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