Constraining Lorentz-violating, modified dispersion relations with gravitational waves

Saeed Mirshekari, Nicolás Yunes, Clifford M. Will

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Modified gravity theories generically predict a violation of Lorentz invariance, which may lead to a modified dispersion relation for propagating modes of gravitational waves. We construct a parametrized dispersion relation that can reproduce a range of known Lorentz-violating predictions and investigate their impact on the propagation of gravitational waves. A modified dispersion relation forces different wavelengths of the gravitational-wave train to travel at slightly different velocities, leading to a modified phase evolution observed at a gravitational-wave detector. We show how such corrections map to the waveform observable and to the parametrized post-Einsteinian framework, proposed to model a range of deviations from General Relativity. Given a gravitational-wave detection, the lack of evidence for such corrections could then be used to place a constraint on Lorentz violation. The constraints we obtain are tightest for dispersion relations that scale with small power of the graviton's momentum and deteriorate for a steeper scaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024041
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 25 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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