Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award

Summer 8-22-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Clifford Will


This dissertation consists of four parts. In Part I, we briefly review fundamental theories of gravity, performed experimental tests, and gravitational waves. The framework and the methods that we use in our calculations are discussed in Part II. This part includes reviewing the methods of the Parametrized Post-Newtonian: PPN) framework, Direct Integration of Relaxed Einstein Equations: DIRE), and Matched Filtering.

In Part III, we calculate the explicit equations of motion for non-spinning compact objects: neutron stars or black holes) to 2.5 post-Newtonian order, or $O(v/c)^5$ beyond Newtonian gravity, in a general class of alternative theories to general relativity known as scalar-tensor theories. For the conservative part of the motion, we obtain the two-body Lagrangian and conserved energy and momentum through second post-Newtonian order. We find the contributions to gravitational radiation reaction to 1.5 post-Newtonian and 2.5 post-Newtonian orders, the former corresponding to the effects of dipole gravitational radiation. For binary black holes we show that the motion through 2.5 post-Newtonian order is observationally identical to that predicted by general relativity.

In Part IV, we construct a parametrized dispersion relation that can produce a range of predictions of alternative theories of gravity for violations of Lorentz invariance in gravitation, and investigate their impact on the propagation of gravitational waves. We show how such corrections map to the waveform observable by a gravitational-wave detector, and to the “parametrized post-Einsteinian framework”, proposed to model a range of deviations from General Relativity. Given a gravitational-wave detection, the lack of evidence for such corrections could then be used to place a constraint on Lorentz violation.


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