Solar system observations have traditionally allowed for very stringent tests of Einstein's theory of general relativity. We here revisit the possibility of using these observations to constrain gravitational parity violation as encapsulated in dynamical Chern-Simons gravity. Working in the small-coupling and post-Newtonian approximations, we calculate analytically the scalar field and the gravitomagnetic sector of the gravitational field in the interior and the exterior of an isolated, weakly-gravitating object with uniform rotation and a quadrupolar mass deformation. We find that the asymptotic peeling-off behavior of the exterior fields is consistent with that found for black holes and neutron stars, as well as for non-relativistic objects, with overall coefficients that are different and dependent on the structure of the weak-field source. We then use these fields to explicitly calculate the dynamical Chern-Simons correction to the spin precession of gyroscopes in orbit around Earth, which we find to be in the same direction as the Lense-Thirring effect of general relativity. We then compare this correction to the spin precession prediction of general relativity to the results of the gravity probe B experiment to place a constraint on dynamical Chern-Simons theory that is consistent with previous approximate estimates. Although we focus primarily on a single body, our methods can be straightforwardly extended to binary systems or N-bodies.
- general relativity
- gravity probe B
- modified theories of gravity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)