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Astron. Astrophys. 317, 976-980 (1997)

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New limits on the violation of the strong equivalence principle in strong field regimes

N. Wex

Max-Planck-Society, Research Unit "Theory of Gravitation", University of Jena, Max-Wien-Platz 1, D-07743 Jena, Germany

Received 8 November 1995 / Accepted 25 May 1996


The Strong Equivalence Principle (SEP) demands, besides the validity of the Einstein Equivalence Principle, that all self-gravitating bodies feel the same acceleration in an external gravitational field. It has been found that metric theories of gravity other that than general relativity typically predict a violation of the SEP. In case of the Earth-Moon system (weak field system) this violation is called the Nordtvedt effect.

It has been shown by Damour and Schäfer, that small-eccentricity long-orbital-period binary pulsars with a white dwarf companion provide excellent conditions to test the SEP in strong field regimes.

Based on newly discovered binary pulsars this paper investigates a possible violation of the SEP in strong field regimes. New limits with an improved confidence level are presented.

The results of this paper lead to constrains on the combination [FORMULA] of the only two (post)2 -Newtonian parameters [FORMULA] and [FORMULA] that arise from the (post)2 -Newtonian approximation of the tensor-multi-scalar theory of Damour and Esposito-Farèse.

Key words: gravitation – relativity – pulsars: general

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 8, 1998