Tests of General Relativity

Tests Of General Relativity

At its introduction in 1915, the general theory of relativity did not have a solid empirical foundation. It was known that it correctly accounted for the "anomalous" precession of the perihelion of Mercury and on philosophical grounds it was considered satisfying that it was able to unify Newton's law of universal gravitation with special relativity. That light appeared to bend in gravitational fields in line with the predictions of general relativity was found in 1919 but it was not until a program of precision tests was started in 1959 that the various predictions of general relativity were tested to any further degree of accuracy in the weak gravitational field limit, severely limiting possible deviations from the theory. Beginning in 1974, Hulse, Taylor and others have studied the behaviour of binary pulsars experiencing much stronger gravitational fields than found in our solar system. Both in the weak field limit (as in our solar system) and with the stronger fields present in systems of binary pulsars the predictions of general relativity have been extremely well tested locally.

The very strong gravitational fields that must be present close to black holes, especially those supermassive black holes which are thought to power active galactic nuclei and the more active quasars, belong to a field of intense active research. Observations of these quasars and active galactic nuclei are difficult, and interpretation of the observations is heavily dependent upon astrophysical models other than general relativity or competing fundamental theories of gravitation, but they are qualitatively consistent with the black hole concept as modelled in general relativity.

As a consequence of the equivalence principle, Lorentz invariance holds locally in freely falling reference frames. Experiments related to Lorentz invariance and thus special relativity (i.e., when gravitational effects can be neglected) are described in Tests of special relativity.

Read more about Tests Of General Relativity:  Classical Tests, Modern Tests, Strong Field Tests: Binary Pulsars, Direct Detection of Gravitational Waves, Cosmological Tests, See Also

Other articles related to "tests of general relativity, tests of, of general relativity, general relativity, relativity":

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... On October 10, 2003, the Cassini science team announced the results of tests of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, which were done by using radio waves ... agrees with the predictions of standard General Relativity ... According to the Theory of General Relativity, a massive object like the Sun causes space-time to curve, and a beam of radio waves (or light, or any form of electromagnetic radiation ...
Tests Of General Relativity - See Also
... Tests of special relativity Cooperstock's Energy Localization Hypothesis Square Kilometre Array ...

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