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Aethereal Gravity – Brendan Foster

Date: Tue. December 5th, 2006, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221

Hints from quantum gravity suggest the existence of a preferred frame. One way to accommodate such a frame in general relativity without sacrificing general covariance is to couple the metric to a dynamical, timelike, unit-norm vector field–the “aether”. I will discuss observational constraints on a class of such theories, with a focus on post-Newtonian effects and radiation from binary pulsar systems, and show that a subset remains viable.

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