Tests of Gravitational Symmetries with Pulsar Binary J1713+0747

Abstract : Symmetries play a fundamental role in modern theories of gravity. The strong equivalence principle (SEP) constitutes a collection of gravitational symmetries which are all implemented by general relativity. Alternative theories, however, are generally expected to violate some aspects of SEP. We test three aspects of SEP using observed change rates in the orbital period and eccentricity of binary pulsar J1713+0747: (1) the gravitational constant’s constancy as part of locational invariance of gravitation; (2) the universality of free fall (UFF) for strongly self-gravitating bodies; (3) the post-Newtonian parameter |$\hat{\alpha }_3$| in gravitational Lorentz invariance. Based on the pulsar timing result of the combined data set from the North American Nanohertz Gravitational Observatory and the European Pulsar Timing Array, we find |$\dot{G}/G = (-0.1 \pm 0.9) \times 10^{-12}\, {\rm yr}^{-1}$|⁠, which is weaker than Solar system limits, but applies for strongly self-gravitating objects. Furthermore, we obtain an improved test for a UFF violation by a strongly self-gravitating mass falling in the gravitational field of our Galaxy, with a limit of |Δ| < 0.002 (95 per cent C.L.). Finally, we derive an improved limit on the self-acceleration of a gravitationally bound rotating body, to a preferred reference frame in the Universe, with |$-3\times 10^{-20} \lt \hat{\alpha }_3 \lt 4\times 10^{-20}$| (95 per cent C.L.). These results are based on direct UFF and |$\hat{\alpha }_3$| tests using pulsar binaries, and they overcome various limitations of previous tests of this kind.
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W.W. Zhu, G. Desvignes, N. Wex, R.N. Caballero, D.J. Champion, et al.. Tests of Gravitational Symmetries with Pulsar Binary J1713+0747. Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc., 2019, 482 (3), pp.3249-3260. ⟨10.1093/mnras/sty2905⟩. ⟨hal-01744048⟩

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