Living Reviews in Relativity: “The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment”

Living Reviews in Relativity has published an update of the review “The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment” by Clifford M. Will on 11 June 2014.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

This new edition of one of our most read reviews also marks a new milestone the journal’s history: as of this day, Living Reviews has published 130 articles on 90 topics!

PUB.NO. lrr-2014-4
Will, Clifford M.
“The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment”

ACCEPTED: 2014-06-06
PUBLISHED: 2014-06-11


The status of experimental tests of general relativity and of theoretical frameworks for analyzing them are reviewed and updated. Einstein’s equivalence principle (EEP) is well supported by experiments such as the Eötvös experiment, tests of local Lorentz invariance and clock experiments. Ongoing tests of EEP and of the inverse square law are searching 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, the Nordtvedt effect in lunar motion, and frame-dragging. Gravitational wave damping has been detected in an amount that agrees with general relativity to better than half a percent using the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar, and a growing family of other binary pulsar systems is yielding new tests, especially of strong-field effects. Current and future tests of relativity will center on strong gravity and gravitational waves.

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.


Living Reviews in Relativity: “The Evolution of Compact Binary Star Systems”

Living Reviews in Relativity has published a major update of the review “The Evolution of Compact Binary Star Systems” by Konstantin A. Postnov and Lev R. Yungelson on 5 May 2014.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

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Postnov, Konstantin A. and Yungelson, Lev R.
“The Evolution of Compact Binary Star Systems”

ACCEPTED: 2014-03-17
PUBLISHED: 2014-05-05


We review the formation and evolution of compact binary stars consisting of white dwarfs (WDs), neutron stars (NSs), and black holes (BHs). Mergings of compact-star binaries are expected to be the most important sources for forthcoming gravitational-wave (GW) astronomy. In the first part of the review, we discuss observational manifestations of close binaries with NS and/or BH components and their merger rate, crucial points in the formation and evolution of compact stars in binary systems, including the treatment of the natal kicks, which NSs and BHs acquire during the core collapse of massive stars and the common envelope phase of binary evolution, which are most relevant to the merging rates of NS-NS, NS-BH and BH-BH binaries. The second part of the review is devoted mainly to the formation and evolution of binary WDs and their observational manifestations, including their role as progenitors of cosmologically-important thermonuclear SN Ia. We also consider AM CVn-stars, which are thought to be the best verification binary GW sources for future low-frequency GW space interferometers.


Living Reviews in Relativity: “Gravitational Radiation from…” / “The Hole Argument and…”

Living Reviews in Relativity recently published two new articles: a major update of the review on “Gravitational Radiation from Post-Newtonian Sources and Inspiralling Compact Binaries” by Luc Blanchet and a new article on “The Hole Argument and Some Physical and Philosophical Implications” by John Stachel.

Please find the abstracts and further details below.

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Blanchet, Luc
“Gravitational Radiation from Post-Newtonian Sources and Inspiralling Compact Binaries”

ACCEPTED: 2014-01-27
PUBLISHED: 2014-02-14


To be observed and analyzed by the network of gravitational wave detectors on ground (LIGO, VIRGO, etc.) and by the future detectors in space (eLISA, etc.), inspiralling compact binaries — binary star systems composed of neutron stars and/or black holes in their late stage of evolution — require high-accuracy templates predicted by general relativity theory. The gravitational waves emitted by these very relativistic systems can be accurately modelled using a high-order post-Newtonian gravitational wave generation formalism. In this article, we present the current state of the art on post-Newtonian methods as applied to the dynamics and gravitational radiation of general matter sources (including the radiation reaction back onto the source) and inspiralling compact binaries. We describe the post-Newtonian equations of motion of compact binaries and the associated Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms, paying attention to the self-field regularizations at work in the calculations. Several notions of innermost circular orbits are discussed. We estimate the accuracy of the post-Newtonian approximation and make a comparison with numerical computations of the gravitational self-force for compact binaries in the small mass ratio limit. The gravitational waveform and energy flux are obtained to high post-Newtonian order and the binary’s orbital phase evolution is deduced from an energy balance argument. Some landmark results are given in the case of eccentric compact binaries — moving on quasi-elliptical orbits with non-negligible eccentricity. The spins of the two black holes play an important role in the definition of the gravitational wave templates. We investigate their imprint on the equations of motion and gravitational wave phasing up to high post-Newtonian order (restricting to spin-orbit effects which are linear in spins), and analyze the post-Newtonian spin precession equations as well as the induced precession of the orbital plane.

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Stachel, John
“The Hole Argument and Some Physical and Philosophical Implications”

ACCEPTED: 2013-11-17
PUBLISHED: 2014-02-06


This is a historical-critical study of the hole argument, concentrating on the interface between historical, philosophical and physical issues. Although it includes a review of its history, its primary aim is a discussion of the contemporary implications of the hole argument for physical theories based on dynamical, background-independent space-time structures.

The historical review includes Einstein’s formulations of the hole argument, Kretschmann’s critique, as well as Hilbert’s reformulation and Darmois’ formulation of the general-relativistic Cauchy problem. The 1970s saw a revival of interest in the hole argument, growing out of attempts to answer the question: Why did three years elapse between Einstein’s adoption of the metric tensor to represent the gravitational field and his adoption of the Einstein field equations?

The main part presents some modern mathematical versions of the hole argument, including both coordinate-dependent and coordinate-independent definitions of covariance and general covariance; and the fiber bundle formulation of both natural and gauge natural theories. By abstraction from continuity and differentiability, these formulations can be extended from differentiable manifolds to any set; and the concepts of permutability and general permutability applied to theories based on relations between the elements of a set, such as elementary particle theories.

We are closing with an overview of current discussions of philosophical and physical implications of the hole argument.


Book with A. A. Friedmann’s papers on cosmology

Alexander A. Friedmann, Papers On Curved Spaces and Cosmology (Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2014), 74 pages

This book contains three papers by Friedmann – “On the Curvature of Space” (1922), “On the Possibility of a World with a Constant Negative Curvature of Space” (1924), and “On the Geometry of Curved Spaces”. The third paper is a 28-page manuscript (dated 15 April 1922) which has not been published even in Russian.

Unlike the existing two English translations of Friedmann’s 1922 and 1924 papers (done from the German publications), now these papers are translated directly from the original Russian texts.

Vesselin Petkov

New CQG focus issue on Astrophysical Black Holes edited by David Merritt and Luciano Rezzolla

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to present this focus issue on Astrophysical Black Holes, guest edited by David Merritt and Luciano Rezzolla:

The issue features 10 articles which cover recent developments in the observational and theoretical understanding of black holes – both stellar mass and supermassive – as well as black holes in alternate theories of gravity. The context is astrophysical; that is: how black holes form in, and interact with, their stellar and galactic environments, and the observational consequences of that interaction.

The full issue is available from IOPscience for free for the next 3 months. I hope you will enjoy reading the articles and that they will be useful references for your future research.

Kind regards,

Ben Sheard
Publishing Editor
Classical and Quantum Gravity
IOP Publishing

Living Reviews in Relativity: “Gravitational-Wave Tests of General Relativity with Ground-Based Detectors and Pulsar-Timing Arrays”

Living Reviews in Relativity has published a new review article on “Gravitational-Wave Tests of General Relativity with Ground-Based Detectors and Pulsar-Timing Arrays” by Nicolas Yunes and Xavier Siemens on 6 November 2013.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

This publication also introduces a redesigned HTML article layout, which allows better indexing by search engines and improves usability (easy linking to sections and figures, replacement for popups):

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-9
Yunes, Nicolas and Siemens, Xavier
“Gravitational-Wave Tests of General Relativity with Ground-Based Detectors and Pulsar-Timing Arrays”

ACCEPTED: 2013-10-08
PUBLISHED: 2013-11-06


This review is focused on tests of Einstein’s theory of general relativity with gravitational waves that are detectable by ground-based interferometers and pulsar-timing experiments. Einstein’s theory has been greatly constrained in the quasi-linear, quasi-stationary regime, where gravity is weak and velocities are small. Gravitational waves will allow us to probe a complimentary, yet previously unexplored regime: the non-linear and dynamical strong-field regime. Such a regime is, for example, applicable to compact binaries coalescing, where characteristic velocities can reach fifty percent the speed of light and gravitational fields are large and dynamical. This review begins with the theoretical basis and the predicted gravitational-wave observables of modified gravity theories. The review continues with a brief description of the detectors, including both gravitational-wave interferometers and pulsar-timing arrays, leading to a discussion of the data analysis formalism that is applicable for such tests. The review ends with a discussion of gravitational-wave tests for compact binary systems.


New CQG focus issue on Pulsar Timing Arrays edited by M A Bizouard, F Jenet, R Price and C M Will

The latest CQG focus issue is titled: ‘Pulsar Timing Arrays’ and is guest edited by M A Bizouard, F Jenet, R Price and C M Will.

Gravitational-wave detection via a pulsar timing array (PTA) is now entering the realm of practicality. This focus issue includes an overview of the field and articles describing the various detection efforts that are currently underway. Other articles in the issue discuss the potential for astrophysics and tests of general relativity using PTAs.

The full issue is available from IOPscience for free for the next 3 months.

Best wishes

Adam Day
Classical and Quantum Gravity

New CQG focus issue on Scalars and Gravity edited by David Langlois

I am very pleased to bring you this special issue on ‘Scalars and Gravity’ guest edited by David Langlois.

This issue presents several active directions of research where the interplay between scalar fields and gravity is essential.

The issue features articles on a range of topics including inflationary models based on scalar fields, quintessence, chameleon fields, and generalized Galileon theories.

We hope that these articles will offer offer a stimulating perspective on several recent and active research topics that mix scalar fields with gravity.

Best wishes

Adam Day
Classical and Quantum Gravity

New book: “Relativistic Hydrodynamics”, by Luciano Rezzolla and Olindo Zanotti

Relativistic Hydrodynamics
Luciano Rezzolla, Olindo Zanotti
Oxford University Press, 2013
Hard back, 752 pages, 128 colour illustrations, available as ebook
Contents and reviews at

Price: 55 GPB/70 EUR; 20% discount available for hyperspace readers. Enter the code AAFLY4 in the promotional code box when adding to the basket (offer valid till 30.11.13).

Relativistic hydrodynamics is a very successful theoretical framework to describe the dynamics of matter from scales as small as those of colliding elementary particles, up to the largest scales in the universe. This book provides an up-to-date, lively, and approachable introduction to the mathematical formalism, numerical techniques, and applications of relativistic hydrodynamics. The topic is typically covered either by very formal or by very phenomenological books, but is instead presented here in a form that will be appreciated both by students and researchers in the field.

The topics covered in the book are the results of work carried out over the last 40 years, which can be found in rather technical research articles with dissimilar notations and styles. The book is not just a collection of scattered information, but a well-organized description of relativistic hydrodynamics, from the basic principles of statistical kinetic theory, down to the technical aspects of numerical methods devised for the solution of the equations, and over to the applications in modern physics and astrophysics. Numerous figures, diagrams, and a variety of exercises aid the material in the book. The most obvious applications of this work range from astrophysics (black holes, neutron stars, gamma-ray bursts, and active galaxies) to cosmology (early-universe hydrodynamics and phase transitions) and particle physics (heavy-ion collisions).

It is often said that fluids are either seen as solutions of partial differential equations or as “wet”. Fluids in this book are definitely wet, but the mathematical beauty of differential equations is not washed out.

Readership: Graduate and post-graduate students, professors, lecturers, and researchers in astrophysics, particle physics, and applied mathematics.

New CQG focus issue on Massive Gravity edited by Shinji Mukohyama

I am very pleased to bring you this focus issue on ‘Massive Gravity’ guest edited by Shinji Mukohyama.

The aim of the issue is to highlight some of the recent developments in massive gravity and their phenomenological implications.

We hope that these articles will be of interest and beneficial to your research.

Best wishes

Adam Day
Classical and Quantum Gravity

Living Reviews in Relativity: Cosmology with Euclid / Testing GR with Space-Based GW Detectors / Near-Horizon Geometries of Extremal Black Holes

Living Reviews in Relativity has published three new review articles:

“Cosmology and Fundamental Physics with the Euclid Satellite” by Luca Amendola et al. (Euclid Theory Working Group),

“Testing General Relativity with Low-Frequency, Space-Based Gravitational-Wave Detectors” by Jonathan R. Gair et al.,

“Classification of Near-Horizon Geometries of Extremal Black Holes” by Hari K. Kunduri and James Lucietti.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-6
Luca Amendola et al. (Euclid Theory Working Group)
“Cosmology and Fundamental Physics with the Euclid Satellite”

ACCEPTED: 2013-06-13
PUBLISHED: 2013-09-02


Euclid is a European Space Agency medium-class mission selected for launch in 2019 within the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program. The main goal of Euclid is to understand the origin of the accelerated expansion of the Universe. Euclid will explore the expansion history of the Universe and the evolution of cosmic structures by measuring shapes and redshifts of galaxies as well as the distribution of clusters of galaxies over a large fraction of the sky. Although the main driver for Euclid is the nature of dark energy, Euclid science covers a vast range of topics, from cosmology to galaxy evolution to planetary research. In this review we focus on cosmology and fundamental physics, with a strong emphasis on science beyond the current standard models. We discuss five broad topics: dark energy and modified gravity, dark matter, initial conditions, basic assumptions and questions of methodology in the data analysis. This review has been planned and carried out within Euclid’s Theory Working Group and is meant to provide a guide to the scientific themes that will underlie the activity of the group during the preparation of the Euclid mission.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-7
Jonathan R. Gair, Michele Vallisneri, Shane L. Larson and John G. Baker
“Testing General Relativity with Low-Frequency, Space-Based Gravitational-Wave Detectors”

ACCEPTED: 2013-08-19
PUBLISHED: 2013-09-12


We review the tests of general relativity that will become possible with space-based gravitational-wave detectors operating in the $sim 10^5 – 1$ Hz low-frequency band. The fundamental aspects of gravitation that can be tested include the presence of additional gravitational fields other than the metric; the number and tensorial nature of gravitational-wave polarization states; the velocity of propagation of gravitational waves; the binding energy and gravitational-wave radiation of binaries, and therefore the time evolution of binary inspirals; the strength and shape of the waves emitted from binary mergers and ringdowns; the true nature of astrophysical black holes; and much more. The strength of this science alone calls for the swift implementation of a space-based detector; the remarkable richness of astrophysics, astronomy, and cosmology in the low-frequency gravitational-wave band make the case even stronger.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-8
Kunduri, Hari K. and Lucietti, James
“Classification of Near-Horizon Geometries of Extremal Black Holes”

ACCEPTED: 2013-09-11
PUBLISHED: 2013-09-25


Any spacetime containing a degenerate Killing horizon, such as an extremal black hole, possesses a well-defined notion of a near-horizon geometry. We review such near-horizon geometry solutions in a variety of dimensions and theories in a unified manner. We discuss various general results including horizon topology and near-horizon symmetry enhancement. We also discuss the status of the classification of near-horizon geometries in theories ranging from vacuum gravity to Einstein–Maxwell theory and supergravity theories. Finally, we discuss applications to the classification of extremal black holes and various related topics. Several new results are presented and open problems are highlighted throughout.


New book: “Special Relativity in General Frames” by Eric Gourgoulhon

Special Relativity in General Frames: From Particles to Astrophysics
Eric Gourgoulhon
Springer, 2013
784 pages

Special relativity is presented by adopting a four-dimensional point of view from the start. A distinctive feature of the book is that it doesn’t restrict itself to inertial frames and considers accelerated and rotating observers. It is thus possible to treat physical effects such as the Thomas precession or the Sagnac effect in a simple yet precise manner. In the final chapters, more advanced topics like tensorial fields in spacetime, exterior calculus, relativistic hydrodynamics and relativistic gravity are addressed. Illustrated by 178 figures and enriched by many historical notes, this book also presents many applications of special relativity, ranging from particle physics (accelerators, particle collisions, quark-gluon plasma) to astrophysics (relativistic jets, active galactic nuclei), and including practical applications (Sagnac gyrometers, synchrotron radiation, GPS). In addition, the book provides some mathematical developments, such as the detailed analysis of the Lorentz group and its Lie algebra.

1. Minkowski Spacetime
2. Worldlines and Proper Time
3. Observers
4. Kinematics 1: Motion with Respect to an Observer
5. Kinematics 2: Change of Observer
6. Lorentz Group
7. Lorentz Group as a Lie Group
8. Inertial Observers and Poincaré Group
9. Energy and Momentum
10. Angular Momentum
11. Principle of Least Action
12. Accelerated Observers
13. Rotating Observers
14. Tensors and Alternate Forms
15. Fields on Spacetime
16. Integration in Spacetime
17. Electromagnetic Field
18. Maxwell Equations
19. Energy-Momentum Tensor
20. Energy-Momentum of the Electromagnetic Field
21. Relativistic Hydrodynamics
22. What about Relativistic Gravitation?
A. Basic Algebra
B. Web Pages
C. Special Relativity Books

More details on

Living Reviews in Relativity: Quantum-Spacetime Phenomenology

Living Reviews in Relativity has published a new review article on “Quantum-Spacetime Phenomenology” by Giovanni Amelino-Camelia on 12 June 2013.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-5
Amelino-Camelia, Giovanni
“Quantum-Spacetime Phenomenology”

ACCEPTED: 2013-05-18
PUBLISHED: 2013-06-12


I review the current status of phenomenological programs inspired by quantum-spacetime research. I stress in particular the significance of results establishing that certain data analyses provide sensitivity to effects introduced genuinely at the Planck scale. My main focus is on phenomenological programs that managed to affect the directions taken by studies of quantum-spacetime theories.


CQG Focus Issue on “Higher Spins and Holography” guest edited by Per Kraus and Simon F Ross

I am very pleased to bring you this focus issue on ‘Higher Spins and Holography’ guest edited by Per Kraus and Simon F Ross.

Higher spin gravity has gained broader appeal in recent years due to its appearance in the AdS/CFT correspondence. I hope that you will find this focus issue of particular interest and encourage you to share and circulate this with your colleagues and peers.

I hope that you will publish your next paper with CQG and I look forward to working with you soon.

Best wishes,

Adam Day
Classical and Quantum Gravity

P.S. Don’t forget to read our Highlights of 2011-2012 selected by the Editorial Board, which are free to read until 31 December 2013.

New Book: “General Relativity: 1972 Lecture Notes” by Robert Geroch

Robert Geroch’s lecture notes on general relativity are unique in three main respects. First, the physics of general relativity and the mathematics, which describes it, are masterfully intertwined in such a way that both reinforce each other to facilitate the understanding of the most abstract and subtle issues. Second, the physical phenomena are first properly explained in terms of spacetime and then it is shown how they can be “decomposed” into familiar quantities, expressed in terms of space and time, which are measured by an observer. Third, Geroch’s successful pedagogical approach to teaching theoretical physics through visualization of even the most abstract concepts is fully applied in his lectures on general relativity by the use of around a hundred figures.

Although the book contains lecture notes written in 1972, it is (and will remain) an excellent introduction to general relativity, which covers its physical foundations, its mathematical formalism, the classical tests of its predictions, its application to cosmology, a number of specific and important issues (such as the initial value formulation of general relativity, signal propagation, time orientation, causality violation, singularity theorems, conformal transformations, and asymptotic structure of spacetime), and the early approaches to quantization of the gravitational field.

Robert Geroch, General Relativity: 1972 Lecture Notes (Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2013)

New book: “Heart of Darkness-Unraveling the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe” by Jeremiah P. Ostriker and Simon Mitton

Authors: Jeremiah P Ostriker and Simon Mitton
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691134307

Heart of Darkness is a popular science book (level of reader = college educated) that describes the incredible saga of humankind’s quest to unravel the deepest secrets of the universe. Over the past thirty years, scientists have learned that two little-understood components–dark matter and dark energy–comprise most of the known cosmos, explain the growth of all cosmic structure, and hold the key to the universe’s fate. The story of how evidence for the so-called “Lambda-Cold Dark Matter” model of cosmology has been gathered by generations of scientists throughout the world is told here by one of the pioneers of the field, Jeremiah Ostriker, and his coauthor Simon Mitton.

Living Reviews in Relativity: “Relativistic Binaries in Globular Clusters” (major update)

Living Reviews in Relativity has published a major update of the review “Relativistic Binaries in Globular Clusters” by Matthew J. Benacquista and Jonathan M.B. Downing on 4 March 2013.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-4
Benacquista, Matthew J. and Downing, Jonathan M.B.
“Relativistic Binaries in Globular Clusters”

ACCEPTED: 2012-11-29
PUBLISHED: 2013-03-04


Galactic globular clusters are old, dense star systems typically containing 10^4 – 10^6 stars. As an old population of stars, globular clusters contain many collapsed and degenerate objects. As a dense population of stars, globular clusters are the scene of many interesting close dynamical interactions between stars. These dynamical interactions can alter the evolution of individual stars and can produce tight binary systems containing one or two compact objects. In this review, we discuss theoretical models of globular cluster evolution and binary evolution, techniques for simulating this evolution that leads to relativistic binaries, and current and possible future observational evidence for this population. Our discussion of globular cluster evolution will focus on the processes that boost the production of tight binary systems and the subsequent interaction of these binaries that can alter the properties of both bodies and can lead to exotic objects. Direct N-body integrations and Fokker–Planck simulations of the evolution of globular clusters that incorporate tidal interactions and lead to predictions of relativistic binary populations are also discussed. We discuss the current observational evidence for cataclysmic variables, millisecond pulsars, and low-mass X-ray binaries as well as possible future detection of relativistic binaries with gravitational radiation.


New book: “Gauge Theories of Gravitation”, M. Blagojevic and F.W. Hehl (eds.)

M. Blagojevic (Belgrade) and F.W. Hehl (Cologne and Columbia, MO), Editors,


Foreword by T.W.B. Kibble, FRS
Imperial College Press, London, April 2013

Part A The Rise of Gauge Theory of Gravity up to 1961
1. From Special to General Relativity Theory
2. Analyzing General Relativity Theory
3. A Fresh Start by Yang–Mills and Utiyama

Part B Poincar´e Gauge Theory
4. Einstein–Cartan(–Sciama–Kibble) Theory as Viable Gravit. Theory
5. General Structure of Poincare Gauge Theory (Including Quadratic Lagrangians)
6. Translational Gauge Theory
7. Fallacies About Torsion 259

Part C Extending the Gauge Group of Gravity
8. Poincare Group Plus Scale Transformations: Weyl–Cartan Gauge Theory of Gravity
9. From the Poincare to the Affine Group: Metric-Affine Gravity
10. Conformal Gauge Theory of Gravity
11. (Anti-)de Sitter Gauge Theory of Gravity
12. From the Square Root of Translations to the Super Poincare Group

Part D Specific Subjects of Metric-Affine Gravity and Poincare Gauge Theory
13. Hamiltonian Structure
14. Equations of Motion for Matter
15. Cosmological Models
16. Exact Solutions
17. Poincare Gauge Theory in Three Dimensions
18. Dislocations and Torsion
19. The Yang Episode: A Historical Case Study

Experts in gravity who want to purchase a copy of the book, can get presently a 25% discount on it. Please go to the link

and quote WSSPPK25 upon checking out your shopping cart. Then you will enjoy a 25% discount.


IJMPD: Gravitational Wave Detection and Fundamental Physics in Space

Dear Colleagues,

International Journal of Modern Physics D has published a new special issue on Gravitational Wave Detection and Fundamental Physics in Space [IJMPD Vol. 22, No. 1 (2013)].

Web address:
Visit and register with World Scientific website today to read the full text of these articles.

With best wishes,
Chee-Hok Lim

Publishing Editor
International Journal of Modern Physics D
email: ijmpd[AT]

Living Reviews in Relativity: Spin Foams and Minimal Length in Quantum Gravity

Living Reviews in Relativity has published two new review articles on Quantum Gravity:

“The Spin-Foam Approach to Quantum Gravity” by Alejandro Perez and “Minimal Length Scale Scenarios for Quantum Gravity” by Sabine Hossenfelder.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-3
Perez, Alejandro
“The Spin-Foam Approach to Quantum Gravity”

ACCEPTED: 2012-06-11
PUBLISHED: 2012-02-14


This article reviews the present status of the spin-foam approach to the quantization of gravity. Special attention is payed to the pedagogical presentation of the recently-introduced new models for four-dimensional quantum gravity. The models are motivated by a suitable implementation of the path integral quantization of the Plebanski formulation of gravity on a simplicial regularization. The article also includes a self contained treatment of 2+1 gravity. The simple nature of the latter provides the basis and a perspective for the analysis of both conceptual and technical issues that remain open in four dimensions.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-2
Hossenfelder, Sabine
“Minimal Length Scale Scenarios for Quantum Gravity”

ACCEPTED: 2012-10-11
PUBLISHED: 2013-01-29


We review the question whether the fundamental laws of nature limit our ability to probe arbitrarily short distances. First, we examine what insights can be gained from thought experiments for probes of shortest distances, and summarize what can be learned from different approaches to a theory of quantum gravity. Then we discuss some models that have been developed to implement a minimal length scale into quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. These models have entered the literature under the names of generalized uncertainty principle or modified dispersion relation, and have allowed to study the effects of a minimal length scale in quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, thermodynamics, black hole physics and cosmology. Finally, we touch upon the question if there are ways to circumvent the manifestation of a minimal length scale in short-distance physics.


Living Reviews in Relativity: “Foundations of Black Hole Accretion Disk Theory”

Living Reviews in Relativity has published a new review article on “Foundations of Black Hole Accretion Disk Theory” by Marek A. Abramowicz and P. Chris Fragile on 14 January 2013.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

PUB.NO. lrr-2013-1
Abramowicz, Marek A. and Fragile, P. Chris
“Foundations of Black Hole Accretion Disk Theory”

ACCEPTED: 2012-11-15
PUBLISHED: 2013-01-14


This review covers the main aspects of black hole accretion disk theory. We begin with the view that one of the main goals of the theory is to better understand the nature of black holes themselves. In this light we discuss how accretion disks might reveal some of the unique signatures of strong gravity: the event horizon, the innermost stable circular orbit, and the ergosphere. We then review, from a first-principles perspective, the physical processes at play in accretion disks. This leads us to the four primary accretion disk models that we review: Polish doughnuts (thick disks), Shakura–Sunyaev (thin) disks, slim disks, and advection-dominated accretion flows (ADAFs). After presenting the models we discuss issues of stability, oscillations, and jets. Following our review of the analytic work, we take a parallel approach in reviewing numerical studies of black hole accretion disks. We finish with a few select applications that highlight particular astrophysical applications: measurements of black hole mass and spin, black hole vs. neutron star accretion disks, black hole accretion disk spectral states, and quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs).


IJMPD Special Issue: 2012 Gravity Research Foundation (GRF) Essays

Dear Colleagues,

International Journal of Modern Physics D (IJMPD) takes great pleasure to announce that the 2012 Gravity Research Foundation (GRF) Essays are now published in the Special Issue: IJMPD Vol. 21, No. 11 (2012)

The contents, including the award-winning essays, selected honorable mention essays and invited papers, are free to read until May 2013.

If you find the articles to be of particular interest, we hope that you will circulate them with your colleagues and peers. We also welcome any comments and suggestions from you.

With best wishes,
Chee-Hok Lim

Publishing Editor
International Journal of Modern Physics D
email: ijmpd[AT]

Living Reviews in Relativity: “The Kerr/CFT Correspondence and its Extensions”

Living Reviews in Relativity has published a new review article on “The Kerr/CFT Correspondence and its Extensions” by Geoffrey Compère on 22 October 2012.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

NEW: Follow us on Twitter

PUB.NO. lrr-2012-11
Compère, Geoffrey
“The Kerr/CFT Correspondence and its Extensions”

ACCEPTED: 2012-06-13
PUBLISHED: 2012-10-22


We present a first-principles derivation of the main results of the Kerr/CFT correspondence and its extensions using only tools from gravity and quantum field theory, filling a few gaps in the literature when necessary. Firstly, we review properties of extremal black holes that imply, according to semi-classical quantization rules, that their near-horizon quantum states form a centrally-extended representation of the one-dimensional conformal group. This motivates the conjecture that the extremal Kerr and Reissner–Nordstr”om black holes are dual to the chiral limit of a two-dimensional conformal field theory. We also motivate the existence of a $SL(2,mathbb Z)$ family of two-dimensional conformal field theories which describe in their chiral limit the extremal Kerr–Newman black hole. We present generalizations in anti-de Sitter spacetime and discuss other matter coupling and higher derivative corrections. Secondly, we show how a near-chiral limit of these CFTs reproduces the dynamics of near-superradiant probes around near-extremal black holes in the semi-classical limit. Thirdly, we review how the hidden conformal symmetries of asymptotically flat black holes away from extremality combined with their properties at extremality allow for a microscopic accounting of the entropy of non-extremal asymptotically flat rotating or charged black holes. We conclude with a list of open problems.


Gravitational waves – Publication of a new review paper

M. Cerdonio, G. Losurdo – Rivista del Nuovo Cimento, 35, 389, 2012

“The purpose of this review is to give an outlook on the initial crop of GW observations, on their impact in fundamental physics, in relativistic astrophysics and in cosmology, and give also an updated view of the methods and technologies, which are making possible the historical achievement of opening the era of GW astronomy.” (From the abstract)

“The review paper “Gravitational waves from discovery to astronomy” by M. Cerdonio and G. Losurdo is a remarkable piece of scientific work (…)
Starting from first principles, the physics and technology involved in the contemporary search for gravitational wave is well described. In particular, some key physics issues, usually overlooked in other reviews, are here nicely analyzed. The perspectives of the field are clearly illustrated.” (From the referee’s report)