Angular momentum loss for a binary system in Einstein-Æther theory

Alexander Saffer, Nicolás Yunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent gravitational wave observations provide insight into the extreme gravity regime of coalescing binaries, where gravity is strong, dynamical and nonlinear. The interpretation of these observations relies on the comparison of the data to a gravitational wave model, which in turn depends on the orbital evolution of the binary, and in particular on its orbital energy and angular momentum decay. In this paper, we calculate the latter in the inspiral of a nonspinning compact binary system within Einstein-Æther theory. From the theory's gravitational wave stress energy tensor and a balance law, we compute the angular momentum decay both as a function of the fields in the theory and as a function of the multipole moments of the binary. We then specialize to a Keplerian parametrization of the orbit to express the angular momentum decay as a function of the binary's orbital elements. We conclude by combining this with the orbital energy decay to find expressions for the decay of the semimajor axis and the orbital eccentricity of the binary. We find that these rates of decay are typically faster in Einstein-Æther theory than in general relativity due to the presence of dipole radiation. Such modifications will imprint onto the chirp rate of gravitational waves, leaving a signature of Einstein-Æther theory that if absent in the data could be used to stringently constrain it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124015
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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