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Frameworks for analyzing and testing theories of gravity


Lee, David Li (1974) Frameworks for analyzing and testing theories of gravity. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/KC8C-MS78.


This thesis presents theoretical frameworks for the analysis and testing of gravitation theories - both metric and non-metric. For non-metric theories, the high-precision Eotvos-Dicke-Braginskii (EDB) experiments are demonstrated to be powerful tests of their gravitational coupling to electromagnetic interactions. All known non-metric theories are ruled out to within the precision of the EDB experiments. We present a new metric theory of gravity that cannot be distinguished from general relativity in all current and planned solar system experiments. However, this theory has very different gravitational-wave properties. Hence, we point out the need for further tests of metric theories beyond the Parametrized Post-Newtonian formalism, and emphasize the importance of the observation of gravitational waves as a tool for testing relativistic gravity in the future. A theory-independent formalism delineating the properties of weak, plane gravitational waves in metric theories is set up. General conservation laws that follow from variational principles in metric theories of gravity are investigated.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Thorne, Kip S.
Group:TAPIR, Astronomy Department
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:22 April 1974
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04092004-111803
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1317
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:14 Apr 2004
Last Modified:10 Mar 2020 23:39

Thesis Files

PDF (Lee_dl_1974.pdf) - Final Version
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