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The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment

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Author(s): Will Clifford

Journal: Living Reviews in Relativity
ISSN 1433-8351

Volume: 4;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2001;
Original page

Keywords: Experimental Foundations of Gravitation

ABSTRACT
The status of experimental tests of general relativity and of theoretical frameworks for analysing them are reviewed. Einstein's equivalence principle (EEP) is well supported by experiments such as the Eötvös experiment, tests of special relativity, and the gravitational redshift experiment. Future tests of EEP and of the inverse square law will search 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, and the Nordtvedt effect in lunar motion. Gravitational wave damping has been detected in an amount that agrees with general relativity to half a percent using the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar, and new binary pulsar systems may yield further improvements.When direct observation of gravitational radiation from astrophysical sources begins, new tests of general relativity will be possible.