Numerical methods for rotating compact objects in modified gravity theories

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


Detailed observations of phenomena involving compact objects will provide us with a new avenue to test general relativity in the strong field regime. So as to not bias our analysis of these new experiments, we require knowledge of the spacetimes around these objects both within and beyond general relativity. Here I will describe work that applies two specific methods to solve the modified Einstein's equations that describe the exotic spacetimes beyond general relativity for neutron stars and black holes. The first method is a fourth-order Runge-Kutta-Fehlberg ordinary differential equation numerical integrator method. The second method is a relaxed Newton- Raphson method applied to a system of nonlinear partial differential equations. Using these methods, we solve for the spacetimes of slowly rotating neutron stars in massive bigravity and rotating black holes in scalar Gauss-Bonnet gravity in a theory independent methodology. We validate our numerical methods by applying them to compact objects in general relativity and using them to recover known perturbative solutions. We can then compare the fully nonlinear solutions to these perturbative solutions and comment on their differences. We then use these numerical solutions to calculate the physical observables of these systems and finally construct analytic fitted models that can be used in rapid computation methods that future experiments may use to constrain the free parameters in these theories.




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