Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
The equivalence and/or the effacing principle in theories of gravity
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany
Accepted: 5 July 2022
Published online: 13 July 2022
The Einstein–Hilbert action of the general theory of relativity (GR) is the integral of the scalar curvature R. It is a theory that is drawn from the Equivalence principle and has predictions that come out as a consequence of the principle, in observables. Testing such observables to find confirmation/infirmation of the principle has formed a significant chunk of tests of GR itself. It is expected that quantum corrections to GR may add additional higher powers of R to the Einstein–Hilbert action, or more generally, modifying the action into a generic class of functions of the Ricci scalar. Testing the fate of the prized equivalence principle, in such modified theories of gravity, hence become important in order to obtain a more generic theory of gravitation, and consequently, of gravitating objects. In this study, it is shown that a Post-Newtonian (PN) expansion of a class of theories lead to a sequence of solutions to the two-body problem, which follows the equivalence principle (EP) at the Newtonian order, and generalizes to the ‘effacing principle’ at a higher PN order.
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