[1209.2534] Constraining Gravity with LISA Detections of Binaries

Authors: Priscilla Canizares (1), Jonathan R. Gair (1), Carlos F. Sopuerta (2) ((1) IoA, Cambridge, (2) ICE, CSIC-IEEC)

Date: 12 Sep 2012

Abstract: General Relativity (GR) describes gravitation well at the energy scales which we have so far been able to achieve or detect. However, we do not know whether GR is behind the physics governing stronger gravitational field regimes, such as near neutron stars or massive black-holes (MBHs). Gravitational-wave (GW) astronomy is a promising tool to test and validate GR and/or potential alternative theories of gravity. The information that a GW waveform carries not only will allow us to map the strong gravitational field of its source, but also determine the theory of gravity ruling its dynamics. In this work, we explore the extent to which we could distinguish between GR and other theories of gravity through the detection of low-frequency GWs from extreme-mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs) and, in particular, we focus on dynamical Chern-Simons modified gravity (DCSMG). To that end, we develop a framework that enables us, for the first time, to perform a parameter estimation analysis for EMRIs in DCSMG. Our model is described by a 15-dimensional parameter space, that includes the Chern-Simons (CS) parameter which characterises the deviation between the two theories, and our analysis is based on Fisher information matrix techniques together with a (maximum-mismatch) criterion to assess the validity of our results. In our analysis, we study a 5-dimensional parameter space, finding that a GW detector like the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) or eLISA (evolved LISA) should be able to discriminate between GR and DCSMG with fractional errors below 5%, and hence place bounds four orders of magnitude better than current Solar System bounds.

abs pdf

Sep 12, 2012

1209.2534 (/preprints)
2012-09-12, 19:27 [edit]


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