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Was Einstein right? Testing GR and the Equivalence Principle, 100 years on

Carlos J. A. P. Martins

General Relativity is celebrating its centenary---although its conceptual cornerstone, the Einstein Equivalence Principle, is slightly older. Even though so far both have passed a plethora of experimental tests, there are reasons to expect that they may break down in certain extreme conditions. Astrophysical observations are playing an increasingly important role in these tests, and in this talk I'll provide an overview of the current status, mainly focusing on tests based on precision spectroscopy. In particular I will present new constraints on Weak Equivalence Principle violations that (despite being indirect and somewhat model-dependent) are more than one order of magnitude stronger than existing direct constraints from torsion balance and lunar laser ranging experiments. I will also outline the role of ALMA, ESPRESSO, Euclid and the E-ELT in further improving these tests (and enabling entirely new ones).

2015 July 15, 13:30

Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (Auditorium)
Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto

Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia