Constructing solutions to the inverse problem in gravitation

Arthur-George Suvoroc (University of Tübingen)

A detection of non-Kerr features in astrophysical data concerning black holes would provide compelling evidence for the break-down of general relativity in the strong-field regime. While experiments have thus far validated the Kerr description, suppose we found that some object had a particular, non-Kerr structure; is there a clear way that this can be used to guide us towards the “true” theory of gravity? While a full answer to this problem is still far away, some recent progress has been made in that a recipe for constructing solutions to the inverse problem can be written down: given a metric (reconstructed from astrophysical data), it is shown how non-minimally coupled scalar-tensor and vector-tensor theories can be built around it. Some implications of this finding and other recent works are discussed.

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