We present a calculation of the scalar-field self-force (SSF) acting on a scalar-charge particle in a strong-field orbit around a Kerr black hole. Our calculation specializes to circular and equatorial geodesic orbits. The analysis is an implementation of the standard mode-sum regularization scheme: We first calculate the multipole modes of the scalar-field perturbation using numerical integration in the frequency domain, and then apply a certain regularization procedure to each of the modes. The dissipative piece of the SSF is found to be consistent with the flux of energy and angular-momentum carried by the scalar waves through the event horizon and out to infinity. The conservative (radial) component of the SSF is calculated here for the first time. When the motion is retrograde this component is found to be repulsive (outward pointing, as in the Schwarzschild case) for any spin parameter and (Boyer-Lindquist) orbital radius . However, for prograde orbits we find that the radial SSF becomes attractive (inward pointing) for , where is a critical -dependent radius at which the radial SSF vanishes. The dominant conservative effect of the SSF in Schwarzschild spacetime is known to be of third post-Newtonian (3PN) order (with a logarithmic running). Our numerical results suggest that the leading-order PN correction due to the black hole’s spin arises from spin-orbit coupling at 3PN order, which dominates the overall SSF effect at large . In PN language, the change of sign of the radial SSF is attributed to an interplay between the spin-orbit term () and the Schwarzschild term ().
- Received 9 March 2010
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