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The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment

Living Reviews in Relativity

Springer

gravitational radiation, post-newtonian limit, theories of gravity, tests of relativistic gravity

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      Abstract

      The status of experimental tests of general relativity and of theoretical frameworks for analyzing them is reviewed and updated. Einstein’s equivalence principle (EEP) is well supported by experiments such as the Eötvös experiment, tests of local Lorentz invariance and clock experiments. Ongoing tests of EEP and of the inverse square law are searching 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 deflection, the Shapiro time delay, the perihelion advance of Mercury, the Nordtvedt effect in lunar motion, and frame-dragging. Gravitational wave damping has been detected in an amount that agrees with general relativity to better than half a percent using the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar, and a growing family of other binary pulsar systems is yielding new tests, especially of strong-field effects. Current and future tests of relativity will center on strong gravity and gravitational waves.

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      A Large Mass Hierarchy from a Small Extra Dimension

      We propose a new higher-dimensional mechanism for solving the Hierarchy Problem. The Weak scale is generated from a large scale of order the Planck scale through an exponential hierarchy. However, this exponential arises not from gauge interactions but from the background metric (which is a slice of AdS_5 spacetime). This mechanism relies on the existence of only a single additional dimension. We demonstrate a simple explicit example of this mechanism with two three-branes, one of which contains the Standard Model fields. The experimental consequences of this scenario are new and dramatic. There are fundamental spin-2 excitations with mass of weak scale order, which are coupled with weak scale as opposed to gravitational strength to the standard model particles. The phenomenology of these models is quite distinct from that of large extra dimension scenarios; none of the current constraints on theories with very large extra dimensions apply.
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        An Alternative to Compactification

        Conventional wisdom states that Newton's force law implies only four non-compact dimensions. We demonstrate that this is not necessarily true in the presence of a non-factorizable background geometry. The specific example we study is a single 3-brane embedded in five dimensions. We show that even without a gap in the Kaluza-Klein spectrum, four-dimensional Newtonian and general relativistic gravity is reproduced to more than adequate precision.
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          Review of Particle Physics

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.12942/lrr-2014-4
            5255900

            Unknown

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