Gravitational-wave tests of general relativity with ground-based detectors and pulsar-timing arrays

Nicolás Yunes, Xavier Siemens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This review is focused on tests of Einstein's theory of general relativity with gravitational waves that are detectable by ground-based interferometers and pulsar-timing experiments. Einstein's theory has been greatly constrained in the quasi-linear, quasi-stationary regime, where gravity is weak and velocities are small. Gravitational waves will allow us to probe a complimentary, yet previously unexplored regime: the non-linear and dynamical strong-field regime. Such a regime is, for example, applicable to compact binaries coalescing, where characteristic velocities can reach fifty percent the speed of light and gravitational fields are large and dynamical. This review begins with the theoretical basis and the predicted gravitationalwave observables of modified gravity theories. The review continues with a brief description of the detectors, including both gravitational-wave interferometers and pulsar-timing arrays, leading to a discussion of the data analysis formalism that is applicable for such tests. The review ends with a discussion of gravitational-wave tests for compact binary systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalLiving Reviews in Relativity
StatePublished - Nov 6 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative theories
  • Compact binaries
  • Experimental tests
  • General relativity
  • Gravitational waves
  • Observational tests
  • Pulsar timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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