This book presents an overview of the current understanding of gravitation, with a focus on the current efforts to test its theory, especially general relativity. It shows how the quest for a deeper theory, which would possibly incorporate gravity in the quantum realm, is more than ever an open field. The majority of the contributions deals with the manifold facets of “experimental gravitation”, but the book goes beyond this and covers a broad range of subjects from the foundations of gravitational theories to astrophysics and cosmology. The book is divided into three parts. The first part deals with foundations and Solar System tests. An introductory pedagogical chapter reviews first Newtonian gravitational theory, special relativity, the equivalence principle and the basics of general relativity. Then it focuses on approximation methods, mainly the post-Newtonian formalism and the relaxed Einstein equations, with a discussion on how they are used in treating experimental tests and in the problem of generation and detection of gravitational waves. Following this is a set of chapters describing the most recent experiments, techniques and observations on the testing of gravity theories in the laboratory, around the Earth and in the Solar System. The second part is dedicated to astrophysical topics deeply linked with the study of gravitation, namely binary pulsars and the perspective of direct detection of gravitational waves. These cases are paradigmatic in that the gravitational signals act at the same time as messengers helping us to understand the properties of important and wide classes of astrophysical objects. The third part explores the many open issues in current knowledge of gravitation machinery, especially related to astrophysical and cosmological problems and the way possible solutions to them impact the quest for a quantum theory of gravitation and unified theory. Included is a selection of the many possible paths, giving a hint to the subtleties one is called upon. Whenever possible, a close link to observational constraints and possible experimental tests is provided. In selecting the topics of the various contributions, particular care has been devoted to ensure their fit in a coherent representation of our understanding of gravitational phenomena. The book is aimed at graduate level students and will form a valuable reference for those working in the field.
The 2015 centenary of the publication of Einstein's general theory of relativity, and the first detection of gravitational waves have focused renewed attention on the question of whether Einstein was right. This review of experimental gravity provides a detailed survey of the intensive testing of Einstein's theory of gravity, including tests in the emerging strong-field dynamical regime. It discusses the theoretical frameworks needed to analyze gravitational theories and interpret experiments. Completely revised and updated, this new edition features coverage of new alternative theories of gravity, a unified treatment of gravitational radiation, and the implications of the latest binary pulsar observations. It spans the earliest tests involving the Solar System to the latest tests using gravitational waves detected from merging black holes and neutron stars. It is a comprehensive reference for researchers and graduate students working in general relativity, cosmology, particle physics and astrophysics.
The present volume aims to be a comprehensive survey on the derivation of the equations of motion, both in General Relativity as well as in alternative gravity theories. The topics covered range from the description of test bodies, to self-gravitating (heavy) bodies, to current and future observations. Emphasis is put on the coverage of various approximation methods (e.g., multipolar, post-Newtonian, self-force methods) which are extensively used in the context of the relativistic problem of motion. Applications discussed in this volume range from the motion of binary systems -- and the gravitational waves emitted by such systems -- to observations of the galactic center. In particular the impact of choices at a fundamental theoretical level on the interpretation of experiments is highlighted. This book provides a broad and up-do-date status report, which will not only be of value for the experts working in this field, but also may serve as a guideline for students with background in General Relativity who like to enter this field.
This is the fifth of six volumes collecting significant papers of the distinguished astrophysicist and Nobel laureate S. Chandrasekhar. His work is notable for its breadth as well as for its brilliance; his practice has been to change his focus from time to time to pursue new areas of research. The result has been a prolific career full of discoveries and insights, some of which are only now being fully appreciated. Chandrasekhar has selected papers that trace the development of his ideas and that present aspects of his work not fully covered in the books he has periodically published to summarize his research in each area. Volume 5 covers all of Chandrasekhar's contributions to the general theory of relativity and relativity's astrophysical applications (except his research on black holes and colliding gravitational waves, which is covered in Volume 6). The major topics include the influence of general relativity on the pulsations and stability of stars; the back reaction of gravitational waves on their sources; and post-Newtonian approximations to general relativity and their astrophysical applications. In addition to research papers, the volume includes two 1972 lectures in which Chandrasekhar assessed the past, present, and future of relativistic astrophysics. The foreword by astrophysicist Kip S. Thorne is an absorbing, brief history of the field since 1961, capturing the atmosphere of the early research and clarifying Chandrasekhar's dominant role in it. Chandrasekhar has never written a monograph synthesizing his research in relativistic astrophysics, and therefore this volume of his papers serves as a summary of that work for students and more senior researchers.
This volume offers a comprehensive overview of our understanding of gravity at both the experimental and the theoretical level. Critical reviews by experts cover topics ranging from astrophysics (anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background, gamma ray bursts, neutron stars and astroparticles), cosmology, the status of gravitational wave sources and detectors, verification of Newton's law at short distances, the equivalence principle, gravito-magnetism, measurement theory, time machines and the foundations of Einstein's theory, to string theory and loop quantum gravity.
Many new tests of gravity and, in particular, of Einstein's general relativity theory will be carried out in the near future: The Lense--Thirring effect and the equivalence principle will be tested in space; moreover, gravitational waves will be detected, and new atomic interferometers and clocks will be built for measurements in gravitational and inertial fields. New high-precision devices have made these experiments feasible. They will contribute to a better understanding of gravitational physics. Both experimental developments and the theoretical concepts are collected in this volume. Exhaustive reviews give an overall insight into the subject of experimental gravitation.
From the infinitesimal scale of particle physics to the cosmic scale of the universe, research is concerned with the nature of mass. While there have been spectacular advances in physics during the past century, mass still remains a mysterious entity at the forefront of current research. Our current perspective on gravitation has arisen over millennia, through the contemplation of falling apples, lift thought experiments and notions of stars spiraling into black holes. In this volume, the world’s leading scientists offer a multifaceted approach to mass by giving a concise and introductory presentation based on insights from their respective fields of research on gravity. The main theme is mass and its motion within general relativity and other theories of gravity, particularly for compact bodies. Within this framework, all articles are tied together coherently, covering post-Newtonian and related methods as well as the self-force approach to the analysis of motion in curved space-time, closing with an overview of the historical development and a snapshot on the actual state of the art. All contributions reflect the fundamental role of mass in physics, from issues related to Newton’s laws, to the effect of self-force and radiation reaction within theories of gravitation, to the role of the Higgs boson in modern physics. High-precision measurements are described in detail, modified theories of gravity reproducing experimental data are investigated as alternatives to dark matter, and the fundamental problem of reconciling any theory of gravity with the physics of quantum fields is addressed. Auxiliary chapters set the framework for theoretical contributions within the broader context of experimental physics. The book is based upon the lectures of the CNRS School on Mass held in Orléans, France, in June 2008. All contributions have been anonymously refereed and, with the cooperation of the authors, revised by the editors to ensure overall consistency.