Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-09-23a

Published in: Sergei Klioner, P. Ken Seidelmann, and Michael H. Soffel (eds.), Relativity in Fundamental Astronomy, Proceedings of IAU Symposium No. 261, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2009, pp. 56-61.


By the early 1970s, the improved accuracy of astrometric and time measurements enabled researchers not only to experimentally compare relativistic gravity with the Newtonian predictions, but also to compare different relativistic gravitational theories (e.g., the Brans-Dicke Scalar-Tensor Theory of Gravitation). For this comparison, Kip Thorne and others developed the Parameterized Post-Newtonian Formalism (PPN), and derived the dependence of different astronomically observable effects on the values of the corresponding parameters.

Since then, all the observations have confirmed General Relativity. In other words, the question of which relativistic gravitation theory is in the best accordance with the experiments has been largely settled. This does not mean that General Relativity is the final theory of gravitation: it needs to be reconciled with quantum physics (into quantum gravity), it may also need to be reconciled with numerous surprising cosmological observations, etc. It is therefore reasonable to prepare an extended version of the PPN formalism, that will enable us to test possible quantum-related modifications of General Relativity.

In particular, we need to include the possibility of violating fundamental principles that underlie the PPN formalism but that may be violated in quantum physics, such as scale-invariance, T-invariance, P-invariance, energy conservation, spatial isotropy violations, etc. In this paper, we present the first attempt to design the corresponding extended PPN formalism, with the (partial) analysis of the relation between the corresponding fundamental physical principles.

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Original file: UTEP-CS-09-23