Constraints on alternative theories of gravity with observations of the Galactic Center
Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics, 117218, Moscow, Russia
2 Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, 141980 Russia
3 National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Moscow, 115409, Russia
4 North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC 27707, USA
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 31 October 2018
To evaluate a potential usually one analyzes trajectories of test particles. For the Galactic Center case astronomers use bright stars or photons, so there are two basic observational techniques to investigate a gravitational potential, namely, (a) monitoring the orbits of bright stars near the Galactic Center as it is going on with 10m Keck twin and four 8m VLT telescopes equipped with adaptive optics facilities (in addition, recently the IR interferometer GRAVITY started to operate with VLT); (b) measuring the size and shape of shadows around black hole with VLBI-technique using telescopes operating in mm-band. At the moment, one can use a small relativistic correction approach for stellar orbit analysis, however, in the future the approximation will not be precise enough due to enormous progress of observational facilities and recently the GRAVITY team found that the first post-Newtonian correction has to be taken into account for the gravitational redshift in the S2 star orbit case. Meanwhile for smallest structure analysis in VLBI observations one really needs a strong gravitational field approximation. We discuss results of observations and their interpretations. In spite of great efforts there is a very slow progress to resolve dark matter (DM) and dark energy (DE) puzzles and in these circumstances in last years a number of alternative theories of gravity have been proposed. Parameters of these theories could be effectively constrained with of observations of the Galactic Center. We show some cases of alternative theories of gravity where their parameters are constrained with observations, in particular, we consider massive theory of gravity. We choose the alternative theory of gravity since there is a significant activity in this field and in the last years theorists demonstrated an opportunity to create such theories without ghosts, on the other hand, recently, the joint LIGO & Virgo team presented an upper limit on graviton mass such as mg < 1:2 × 10-22 eV  analyzing gravitational wave signal in their first paper where they reported about the discovery of gravitational waves from binary black holes as it was suggested by C. Will . So, the authors concluded that their observational data do not indicate a significant deviation from classical general relativity. We show that an analysis of bright star trajectories could estimate a graviton mass with a commensurable accuracy in comparison with an approach used in gravitational wave observations and the estimates obtained with these two approaches are consistent. Therefore, such an analysis gives an opportunity to treat observations of bright stars near the Galactic Center as a useful tool to obtain constraints on the fundamental gravity law. We showed that in the future graviton mass estimates obtained with analysis of trajectories of bright stars would be better than current LIGO bounds on the value, therefore, based on a potential reconstruction at the Galactic Center we obtain bounds on a graviton mass and these bounds are comparable with LIGO constraints. Analyzing size of shadows around the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center (or/and in the center of M87) one could constrain parameters of different alternative theories of gravity as well.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.