A precise extragalactic test of General Relativity

Thomas Collett, Lindsay Oldham, Russell Smith, Matthew W. Auger, Kyle Westfall, David Bacon, Bob Nichol, Karen Masters, Kazuya Koyama, Remco C. E. Van Den Bosch

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Einstein’s theory of gravity, General Relativity, has been precisely tested on Solar System scales, but the long-range nature of gravity is still poorly constrained. The nearby strong gravitational lens, ESO 325-G004, provides a laboratory to probe the weak-field regime of gravity and measure the spatial curvature generated per unit mass, γ. By reconstructing the observed light profile of the lensed arcs and the observed spatially resolved stellar kinematics with a single self-consistent model, we conclude that γ = 0.97 ± 0.09 at 68% confidence. Our result is consistent with the prediction of 1 from General Relativity and provides a strong extragalactic constraint on the weak-field metric of gravity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1342-1346
Number of pages5
Issue number6395
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2018


  • RCUK
  • STFC
  • ST/N000688/1
  • ST/P000541/1


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