The spacetime geometry around astrophysical black holes is supposed to be well approximated by the Kerr metric, but deviations from the Kerr solution are predicted in a number of scenarios involving new physics. Broad iron Kα lines are commonly observed in the X-ray spectrum of black holes and originate by X-ray fluorescence of the inner accretion disk. The profile of the iron line is sensitively affected by the spacetime geometry in the strong gravity region and can be used to test the Kerr black hole hypothesis. In this paper, we extend previous work in the literature. In particular: i) as test-metric, we employ the parametrization recently proposed by Konoplya, Rezzolla, and Zhidenko, which has a number of subtle advantages with respect to the existing approaches; ii) we perform simulations with specific X-ray missions, and we consider NuSTAR as a prototype of current observational facilities and eXTP as an example of the next generation of X-ray observatories. We find a significant difference between the constraining power of NuSTAR and eXTP. With NuSTAR, it is difficult or impossible to constrain deviations from the Kerr metric. With eXTP, in most cases we can obtain quite stringent constraints (modulo we have the correct astrophysical model).
Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
- Pub Date:
- September 2016
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
- 1+13 pages, 7 figures. v2: refereed version