A large class of modified theories of gravity used as models for dark energy predict a propagation speed for gravitational waves which can differ from the speed of light. This difference of propagations speeds for photons and gravitons has an impact in the emission of gravitational waves by binary systems. Thus, we revisit the usual quadrupolar emission of binary system for an arbitrary propagation speed of gravitational waves and obtain the corresponding period decay formula. We then use timing data from the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar and obtain that the speed of gravitational waves can only differ from the speed of light at the percentage level. This bound places tight constraints on dark energy models featuring an anomalous propagations speed for the gravitational waves.
H. Velten, J. Jimenez and F. Piazza
Fri, 3 Mar 17
Comments: 6 pages, 1 figure, Prepared for the IWARA2016 proceedings