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B Dose LIGO verify GR definitely?

  1. Mar 6, 2016 #1
    LIGO announced the detection of gravitational wave event GW150914, which coincided with the numerical waveform predicted by GR.
    The PRL paper says "Using fitting formulas calibrated to numerical relativity simulations, we verified that the remnant mass and spin deduced from the early stage of the coalescence and those inferred independently from the late stage are consistent with each other, with no evidence for disagreement from general relativity."
    Does it mean that Einstein's gravity theory has been proved to be the correct classical gravity theory? To what extent are other gravity theories excluded?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2016 #2


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    Physical theories are not "correct" or "incorrect", they have domains of validity where they give accurate predictions. Newton's law of gravitation is exquisitely accurate within the solar system, for example, but fails in regions of strong gravity or at velocities close to the speed of light. Before this event, general relativity had only been validated in regions of relatively weak gravity, and this pushes the domain of validity into regions of much stronger gravity than had been done before. However, we know that GR is not completely "correct" because it does not take quantum mechanics into account. Whether we will ever have a single Theory of Everything which is completely correct in all domains is, I think, an open question. Whether this event falsifies some alternate gravity theories seems to be still under debate.
  4. Mar 6, 2016 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    We have multiple threads about this in the astronomy and the general relativity subsection already, please use those.
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