Experimental tests of general relativity: recent progress and future directions
S.G. Turysheva,b aLomonosov Moscow State University, Shternberg State Astronomical Institute, Universitetskii prosp. 13, Moscow, 119889, Russian Federation bJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, California, 91109-0899, USA
Einstein’s general theory of relativity is the standard theory of gravity, especially where the needs of astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, and fundamental physics are concerned. As such, this theory is used for many practical purposes involving spacecraft navigation, geodesy, and time transfer. We review the foundations of general relativity, discuss recent progress in tests of relativistic gravity, and present motivations for the new generation of high-accuracy tests of new physics beyond general relativity. Space-based experiments in fundamental physics are presently capable of uniquely addressing important questions related to the fundamental laws of nature. We discuss the advances in our understanding of fundamental physics that are anticipated in the near future and evaluate the discovery potential of a number of recently proposed space-based gravitational experiments.