Testing Chern-Simons modified gravity with observations of extreme-mass-ratio binaries
by Canizares, Priscilla and Gair, Jonathan R. and Sopuerta, Carlos F.
10 pages, JPCS of the Amaldi 9 and NRDA 2011
Extreme-Mass-Ratio Inspirals (EMRIs) are one of the most promising sources of gravitational waves (GWs) for space-based detectors like the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). EMRIs consist of a compact stellar object orbiting around a massive black hole (MBH). Since EMRI signals are expected to be long lasting (containing of the order of hundred thousand cycles), they will encode the structure of the MBH gravitational potential in a precise way such that features depending on the theory of gravity governing the system may be distinguished. That is, EMRI signals may be used to test gravity and the geometry of black holes. However, the development of a practical methodology for computing the generation and propagation of GWs from EMRIs in theories of gravity different than General Relativity (GR) has only recently begun. In this paper, we present a parameter estimation study of EMRIs in a particular modification of GR, which is described by a four-dimensional Chern-Simons (CS) gravitational term. We focus on determining to what extent a space-based GW observatory like LISA could distinguish between GR and CS gravity through the detection of GWs from EMRIs.