General Relativity and Compact Objects

Patrick Das Gupta*
Department of Physics and Astrophysics, University of Delhi, Delhi - 110 007 (India)

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Two of the characteristic predictions of general relativity (GR) - black holes (BHs) and gravitational waves (GWs), have played significant roles in relativistic astrophysics, e.g. compact X-ray sources, AGNs, GRBs, coalescing binary pulsars, etc. BHs also emit thermal Hawking radiation due to quantum processes in its vicinity. Effect of Hawking radiation on the fate of ‘black hole atoms’ has been discussed in this paper. In the context of GWs, discovery of RX J0648.0-4418, a rotating white dwarf (WD) in a binary system with mass ≈ 1.2 M and spin period 13.2 s, motivates one to revisit the problem of spin evolution due to emission of gravitational as well as electromagnetic radiations from rapidly spinning magnetizedWDs.

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Keywords : gravitation – relativity – black hole physics – gravitational waves