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`~ravi~tionai physics · - - - - ~-- - - - ~-- - - - ~-- - - ~-- - - - ~-- - - - ~-- - - - ~-- - - - ~-- - - - ~-- - - - ~-- - - ~-- - - - ~-- - - - ~--- Exploring the Structure of Space arm Time Committee on Gravitational Physics Board on Physics and Astronomy Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This project was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NAG5-4120, the Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-FG02-97ER41051, and the National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHY-9722102. Any opinions, findings, and conclu- sions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. Front cover: Gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of space and time that propagate with the speed of light through otherwise empty space. Mass in motion is the source of gravitational waves. The figure shows the predicted gravitational wave pattern from a pair of neutron stars or black holes spiraling inward toward a final merger. The figure shows one polarization of the waves as seen by observers stationed throughout the plane of the orbit at the moment of final merger. The waves measured far away were emitted during the earlier steady inspiral of the objects about one another, while the peak at the center comes from the final merger. The reception of gravitational waves in the next decade would not only confirm one of the most basic predictions of Einstein's general relativity, but also provide a new window on the universe. (Courtesy of Patrick R. Brady, Institute for Theoreti- cal Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.) International Standard Book Number 0-309-06635-2 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet <http:// www.nap.edu>; and Board on Physics and Astronomy, National Research Council, HA 562, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418 Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
COMMITTEE ON GRAVITATIONAL PHYSICS JAMES B. HARTLE, University of California at Santa Barbara, Chair ERIC G. ADELBERGER, University of Washington AB HAY V. ASHTEKAR, Pennsylvania State University BEVERLY K. BERGER, Oakland University GARY T. HOROWITZ, University of California at Santa Barbara PETER F. MICHELSON, Stanford University RAMESH NARAYAN, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics PETER R. SAULSON, Syracuse University DAVID N. SPERGEL, Princeton University Observatory JOSEPH H. TAYLOR, Princeton University SAUL A. TEUKOLSKY, Cornell University CLIFFORD M. WILL, Washington University DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director ROBERT L. RIEMER, Senior Program Officer JOEL R. PARRIOTT, Program Officer . . .
BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY ROBERT C. DYNES, University of California at San Diego, Chair ROBERT C. RICHARDSON, Cornell University, Vice Chair STEVEN CHU, Stanford University VAL FITCH, Princeton University IVAR GIAEVER, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute RICHARD D. HAZELTINE, University of Texas at Austin JOHN HUCHRA, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics JOHN C. MATHER, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center R.G. HAMISH ROBERTSON, University of Washington JOSEPH H. TAYLOR, Princeton University KATHLEEN C. TAYLOR, General Motors Research and Development Center J. ANTHONY TYSON, Lucent Technologies GEORGE WHITESIDES, Harvard University DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director ROBERT L. RIEMER, Associate Director KEVIN AYLESWORTH, Program Officer JOEL R. PARRIOTT, Program Officer NATASHA CASEY, Senior Administrative Associate GRACE WANG, Senior Project Associate MICHAEL LU, Project Assistant V
COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS PETER M. BANKS, ERIM International, Inc., Co-chair W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado, Co-chair WILLIAM BROWDER, Princeton University LAWRENCE D. BROWN, University of Pennsylvania MARSHALL H. COHEN, California Institute of Technology RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University JOHN E. ESTES, University of California at Santa Barbara JERRY P. GOLLUB, Haverford College MARTHA P. HAYNES, Cornell University JOHN L. HENNESSY, Stanford University CAROL M. JANTZEN, Westinghouse Savannah River Company PAUL G. KAMINSKI, Technovation, Inc. KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California at Los Angeles DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN KREICK, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania M. ELISABETH PATE-CORNELL, Stanford University NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory CHANG-LIN TIEN, University of California at Berkeley NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director v
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an advisor to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sci- ences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Func- tioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. vim
Preface The Committee on Gravitational Physics (COP) was organized by the Na- tional Research Council's (NRC's) Board on Physics and Astronomy (B PA) as part of the decadal survey Physics in a New Era. The committee's main charges were (1) to assess the achievements in gravitational physics over the last decade and (2) to identify the most promising opportunities for research in the next decade and describe the resources necessary to realize those opportunities. This report fulfills those charges. As is made clear in the report, the field of gravitational physics has signifi- cant overlaps with astrophysics, elementary-particle physics, and cosmology, areas that have been or will be assessed by the NRC. Elementary-particle physics is the subject of a separate volume of the current physics survey, Elementary- Particle Physics Revealing the Secrets of Energy and Matter (National Acad- emy Press, Washington, D.C., 1998~. Cosmology is discussed in Cosmology: A Research Briefing (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1995~. Astro- physical phenomena in which gravitation plays a key role were considered in the NRC study A New Science Strategy for Space Astronomy and Astrophysics (Na- tional Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1997) and will be a part of the NRC's Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey now under way. Reports with overlapping content and emphases are to be expected because of emerging interdisciplinary areas of physics. Naturally, each of these reports makes its recommendations from the perspective of the subfield of physics involved. This report sets priori- ties and makes recommendations based on the committee's assessment of the impact of opportunities for research in gravitational physics. . . vat
. . . vile PREFACE As part of its task, the COP reevaluated the estimates of the event rate for a number of sources of gravitational waves that might be received by the LIGO gravitational wave detector in the next decade in the light of current theoretical and observational understanding. These estimates are reported in the addendum to Section I of Chapter 3. The discussion given there should be regarded as the output of the entire committee, but we would be remiss if we did not also ac- knowledge that the detailed analysis is the work of three of us Ramesh Narayan, Joseph Taylor, and David Spergel. The COP was helped in its tasks by input from many sources, some orga- nized by the committee and some submitted by members of the gravitational physics community in response to various requests for input. The COP's activi- ties, in which the BPA staff headed by Don Shapero and Roc Riemer assisted greatly, are described in Appendix A. The committee's work was supported by grants from the National Aeronau- tics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy. We thank them for this support. James B. Hartle, Chair Committee on Gravitational Physics
Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse per- spectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's (NRC's) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review comments and the draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Mitchell C. Begelman, University of Colorado, James E. Failer, University of Colorado, J. Ross Macdonald, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Riley D. Newman, University of California at Irvine. Kenneth Nordtvedt, Northwest Analysis, Andrew Eben Strominger, Harvard University, J. Anthony Tyson, Lucent Technologies, Robert M. Wald, University of Chicago, and Edward Witten, Princeton University. Although the individuals listed above have provided many constructive com- ments and suggestions, the responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC. Six
Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION, OVERVIEW, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 7 ~ ~ < ~ ~ ~ ~,~ ~ `~ ~ c~ ~ ~ ~ `: ~ 7 It Ac~s of the Past Decade, 8 :~:[q Opportun~;~s for the Nc:~t D`~' 12 ~ ~ K :0 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~t ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~1 4 2 IDEAS AND PHENOMENA OF GENERAL RELATIVITY Id ~ C-~rLe:~ Relat~, 24 Key Phenom`~a ~n Grav~ Phy$~, 27 3 ACHIEVEMENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES IN GRAVITATIONAL PHYSICS I ~G:~;~:! Waves' 32 :~ Black :~--~, 52 ~ ~ K ~] ~ ~ ~ t~ ~ ~\ 0~5 ~ ~6 6 ~ ~ ~ ~ <I; ~ ~q:~;~O ~ ~;~, 79 ~ K ~ ~ 0r ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~] ~ ~ ~ ~ (> ~ 8 9 APPENDIXES A Activities of the Committee on Gravitational Physics B Glossary x~ 24 32 101 104