1 Introduction

The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment

Update available: http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2006-3

Clifford M. Will
McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences
Department of Physics
Washington University, St. Louis MO 63130

(Accepted 25 January 2001)


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.

1 Introduction

image The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment
Clifford M. Will
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