Testing general relativity with low-frequency, space-based gravitational-wave detectors

Jonathan R. Gair, Michele Vallisneri, Shane L. Larson, John G. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


We review the tests of general relativity that will become possible with space-based gravitational- wave detectors operating in the ~ 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 gravitationalwave 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalLiving Reviews in Relativity
StatePublished - Sep 12 2013


  • Black holes
  • Data analysis
  • General relativity
  • Gravitation
  • Gravitational waves
  • LISA
  • eLISA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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