The problem of motion and radiation has received renewed interest since 1990, with proposals for construction of large-scale laser interferometric gravitational-wave observatories, such as the LIGO project in the US, VIRGO and GEO600 in Europe, and TAMA300 in Japan, and the realization that a leading candidate source of detectable waves would be the inspiral, driven by gravitational radiation damping, of a binary system of compact objects (neutron stars or black holes) [1, 127]. The analysis of signals from such systems will require theoretical predictions from GR that are extremely accurate, well beyond the leading-order prediction of Newtonian or even post-Newtonian gravity for the orbits, and well beyond the leading-order formulae for gravitational waves.
This presented a major theoretical challenge: to calculate the motion and radiation of systems of compact objects to very high PN order, a formidable algebraic task, while addressing a number of issues of principle that have historically plagued this subject, sufficiently well to ensure that the results were physically meaningful. This challenge is in the process of being met, so that we may soon see a remarkable convergence between observational data and accurate predictions of gravitational theory that could provide new, strong-field tests of GR.
Here we give a brief overview of the problem of motion and gravitational radiation.
|The Confrontation between General Relativity and
Clifford M. Will
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