Gravitational-Wave Tests of General Relativity with Ground-Based Detectors and Pulsar-Timing Arrays

Nicolás Yunes 
Department of Physics,
Montana State University,
Bozeman, MO 59717, USA

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Xavier Siemens 
Center for Gravitation, Cosmology, and Astrophysics
Department of Physics,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P. O. Box 413,
Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA

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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.

Keywords: General relativity, Gravitational waves, Pulsar timing, Experimental tests, Observational tests, Alternative theories, Compact binaries

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