Probes and tests of strong-field gravity with observations in the electromagnetic spectrum

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Abstract

Neutron stars and black holes are the astrophysical systems with the strongest gravitational fields in the universe. In this article, I review the prospect of using observations of such compact objects to probe some of the most intriguing general relativistic predictions in the strong-field regime: the absence of stable circular orbits near a compact object and the presence of event horizons around black-hole singularities. I discuss the need for a theoretical framework, within which future experiments will provide detailed, quantitative tests of gravity theories. Finally, I summarize the constraints imposed by current observations of neutron stars on potential deviations from general relativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalLiving Reviews in Relativity
Volume11
StatePublished - Nov 18 2008

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electromagnetic spectra
neutron stars
gravitation
probes
event horizon
circular orbits
gravitational fields
relativity
astrophysics
universe
deviation
predictions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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abstract = "Neutron stars and black holes are the astrophysical systems with the strongest gravitational fields in the universe. In this article, I review the prospect of using observations of such compact objects to probe some of the most intriguing general relativistic predictions in the strong-field regime: the absence of stable circular orbits near a compact object and the presence of event horizons around black-hole singularities. I discuss the need for a theoretical framework, within which future experiments will provide detailed, quantitative tests of gravity theories. Finally, I summarize the constraints imposed by current observations of neutron stars on potential deviations from general relativity.",
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