On parametric tests of relativity with false degrees of freedom

06/16/2020
by   Alvin J. K. Chua, et al.
NASA
0

General relativity can be tested by comparing the binary-inspiral signals found in LIGO–Virgo data against waveform models that are augmented with artificial degrees of freedom. This approach suffers from a number of logical and practical pitfalls. 1) It is difficult to ascribe meaning to the stringency of the resultant constraints. 2) It is doubtful that the Bayesian model comparison of relativity against these artificial models can offer actual validation for the former. 3) It is unknown to what extent these tests might detect alternative theories of gravity for which there are no computed waveforms; conversely, when waveforms are available, tests that employ them will be superior.

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