[0903.0100] Will Einstein Have the Last Word on Gravity?

Authors: Bernard F. Schutz, Joan Centrella, Curt Cutler, Scott A. Hughes

Date: 28 Feb 2009

Abstract: This is a whitepaper submitted to the 2010 Astronomy Decadal Review process, addressing the potential tests of gravity theory that could be made by observations of gravitational waves in the milliHertz frequency band by the proposed ESA-NASA gravitational wave observatory LISA. A key issue is that observations in this band of binary systems consisting of black holes offer very clean tests with high signal-to-noise ratios. Gravitational waves would probe nonlinear gravity and could reveal small corrections, such as extra long-range fields that arise in unified theories, deviations of the metric around massive black holes from the Kerr solution, massive gravitons, chiral effects, and effects of extra dimensions. The availability of strong signals from massive black hole binaries as well as complex signals from extreme mass-ratio binaries is unique to the milliHertz waveband and makes LISA a particularly sensitive probe of the validity of general relativity.

abs pdf

Mar 03, 2009

0903.0100 (/preprints)
2009-03-03, 08:42 [edit]


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