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

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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.