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S. DeDeo (Princeton University), D. Psaltis (IAS and University of Arizona)
The frequencies of quasi-periodic oscillations around neutron stars are believed to be related to characteristic frequencies in the gravitational fields of the compact objects. In different variability models, these include the Keplerian, epicyclic, and Lense-Thirring frequencies, which depend mostly on the properties of the stellar spacetimes. In this talk, I will argue that quasi-periodic oscillations in the X-ray flux of neutron stars can be used to map the external spacetimes of the compact objects and, therefore, lead to direct tests of general relativity in the strong-field regime. In particular, I will show that extensions of general relativity, in which the gravitational force felt by matter is mediated by both a rank-two tensor and a scalar field, can be severely constrained by current observations.
Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.