Two approaches to testing general relativity in the strong-field regime

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Observations of compact objects in the electromagnetic spectrum and the detection of gravitational waves from them can lead to quantitative tests of the theory of general relativity in the strong-field regime following two very different approaches. In the first approach, the general relativistic field equations are modified at a fundamental level and the magnitudes of the potential deviations are constrained by comparison with observations. In the second approach, the exterior spacetimes of compact objects are parametrized in a phenomenological way, the various parameters are measured observationally, and the results are finally compared against the general relativistic predictions. In this article, I discuss the current status of both approaches, focusing on the lessons learned from a large number of recent investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012033
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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