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      The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment

      Living Reviews in Relativity

      Springer International Publishing

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          Abstract

          The status of experimental tests of general relativity and of theoretical frameworks for analysing them are reviewed. Einstein’s equivalence principle (EEP) is well supported by experiments such as the Eötvös experiment, tests of special relativity, and the gravitational redshift experiment. Future tests of EEP and of the inverse square law will search for new interactions arising from unification or quantum gravity. Tests of general relativity at the post-Newtonian level have reached high precision, including the light defl ection the Shapiro time delay, the perihelion advance of Mercury, and the Nordtvedt effect in lunar motion. Gravitational wave damping has been detected in an amount that agrees with general relativity to half a percent using the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar, and new binary pulsar systems may yield further improvements. When direct observation of gravitational radiation from astrophysical sources begins, new tests of general relativity will be possible.

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          Most cited references 139

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          LIGO: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.

          The goal of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Project is to detect and study astrophysical gravitational waves and use data from them for research in physics and astronomy. LIGO will support studies concerning the nature and nonlinear dynamics of gravity, the structures of black holes, and the equation of state of nuclear matter. It will also measure the masses, birth rates, collisions, and distributions of black holes and neutron stars in the universe and probe the cores of supernovae and the very early universe. The technology for LIGO has been developed during the past 20 years. Construction will begin in 1992, and under the present schedule, LIGO's gravitational-wave searches will begin in 1998.
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            Theory and Experiment in Gravitational Physics

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              Gravitational Waves from Mergin Compact Binaries: How Accurately Can One Extract the Binary's Parameters from the Inspiral Waveform?

              The most promising source of gravitational waves for the planned detectors LIGO and VIRGO are merging compact binaries, i.e., neutron star/neutron star (NS/NS), neutron star/black hole (NS/BH), and black hole/black-hole (BH/BH) binaries. We investigate how accurately the distance to the source and the masses and spins of the two bodies will be measured from the gravitational wave signals by the three detector LIGO/VIRGO network using ``advanced detectors'' (those present a few years after initial operation). The combination \({\cal M} \equiv (M_1 M_2)^{3/5}(M_1 +M_2)^{-1/5}\) of the masses of the two bodies is measurable with an accuracy \(\approx 0.1\%-1\%\). The reduced mass is measurable to \(\sim 10\%-15\%\) for NS/NS and NS/BH binaries, and \(\sim 50\%\) for BH/BH binaries (assuming \(10M_\odot\) BH's). Measurements of the masses and spins are strongly correlated; there is a combination of \(\mu\) and the spin angular momenta that is measured to within \(\sim 1\%\). We also estimate that distance measurement accuracies will be \(\le 15\%\) for \(\sim 8\%\) of the detected signals, and \(\le 30\%\) for \(\sim 60\%\) of the signals, for the LIGO/VIRGO 3-detector network.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Department of Physics, Washington University, 63130 St. Louis, MO USA
                Contributors
                http://wugrav.wustl.edu/People/CLIFF/index.html
                Journal
                Living Rev Relativ
                Living Rev Relativ
                Living Reviews in Relativity
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                1433-8351
                11 May 2001
                11 May 2001
                2001
                : 4
                : 1
                5253802 4 10.12942/lrr-2001-4
                © The Author(s) 2001
                Categories
                Review Paper
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2001

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