Vol. 4 (2001) > lrr-2001-4

doi: 10.12942/lrr-2001-4
Living Rev. Relativity 4 (2001), 4

The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment

1 Department of Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611

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Article 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 deflection, 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.

Keywords: tests of relativistic gravity, gravitational radiation, theories of gravity, post-Newtonian limit

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Since a Living Reviews in Relativity article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Clifford M. Will,
"The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment",
Living Rev. Relativity 4,  (2001),  4. URL (cited on <date>):
http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2001-4

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2001-4
Title The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment
Author Clifford M. Will
Date accepted 25 January 2001, published 11 May 2001
UPDATE http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2006-3
Title The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment
Author Clifford M. Will
Date accepted 27 February 2006, published 27 March 2006
Changes Updated article and references (added 143).
UPDATE http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2014-4
Title The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment
Author Clifford M. Will
Date accepted 6 June 2014, published 11 June 2014
Changes Major revision, updated and expanded. Added new Section 2.3.3 on the Pioneer anomaly; split former Section 3 into new 3 and 4, and extended Section 3.3 on competing theories of gravity; added new Sections 5.3 and 5.4 on compact binary systems; added a new Section 8 on astrophysical and cosmological tests. The number of references increased from 299 to 454. Added two figures (8, 9) and updated Figures 1, 3, 5, and 7.
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