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New windows to understand gravity: neutron stars and gravitational waves
Álvaro de la Cruz-Dombriz
University of Cape Town
Roberto A. Lineros
Neutron stars are objects in which interior gravitational forces are extreme. Those energetic scales may serve to test the validity of General Relativity and constrain modified theories of gravity. It has been shown recently that in such theories the exterior solution is not purely Schwarzschild-like but it presents instead small oscillations of the curvature scalar. Also, the asymptotic mass is always larger than its general relativistic counterpart and consequently, star radii are in general smaller than in General Relativity, which can give an observational handle on such classes of models at the astrophysical level. Finally, because neutron stars masses can be much larger than General Relativity counterparts, the total energy available for radiating gravitational waves could be of order several solar masses, and thus a merger of these stars constitutes an interesting wave source.