Astronomy Reports

, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 989–999 | Cite as

Masses of stellar black holes and testing theories of gravitation

  • K. A. Postnov
  • A. M. Cherepashchuk
Article

Abstract

The paper analyzes the mass distribution of stellar black holes derived from the light and radial-velocity curves of optical stars in close binary systems using dynamical methods. The systematic errors inherent in this approach are discussed. These are associated primarily with uncertainties in models for the contribution from gaseous structures to the optical brightness of the systems under consideration. The mass distribution is nearly flat in the range 4–15M. This is compared with the mass distribution for black holes in massive close binaries, which can be manifest as ultrabright X-ray sources (Lx>1039 erg/s) observed in other galaxies. If the X-ray luminosities of these objects correspond to the Eddington limit, the black-hole mass distribution should be described by a power law, which is incompatible with the flat shape derived dynamically from observations of close binaries in our Galaxy. One possible explanation of this discrepancy is the rapid evaporation of stellar-mass black holes predicted in recent multi-dimensional models of gravity. This hypothesis can be verified by refining the stellar black-hole mass spectrum or finding isolated or binary black holes with masses below ∼3M.

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Copyright information

© MAIK "Nauka/Interperiodica" 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. A. Postnov
    • 1
  • A. M. Cherepashchuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Sternberg Astronomical InstituteMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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