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A precise extragalactic test of General Relativity

Collett, Thomas E.; Oldham, Lindsay J.; Smith, Russell J.; Auger, Matthew W.; Westfall, Kyle B.; Bacon, David; Nichol, Robert C.; Masters, Karen L.; Koyama, Kazuya; van den Bosch, Remco

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Thomas E. Collett

Lindsay J. Oldham

Matthew W. Auger

Kyle B. Westfall

David Bacon

Robert C. Nichol

Karen L. Masters

Kazuya Koyama

Remco van den Bosch


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.


Collett, T. E., Oldham, L. J., Smith, R. J., Auger, M. W., Westfall, K. B., Bacon, D., …van den Bosch, R. (2018). A precise extragalactic test of General Relativity. Science, 360(6395), 1342-1346.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 26, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 22, 2018
Publication Date Jun 22, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 4, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 10, 2018
Journal Science
Print ISSN 0036-8075
Electronic ISSN 1095-9203
Publisher American Association for the Advancement of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 360
Issue 6395
Article Number 1342-1346
Pages 1342-1346
Related Public URLs


Accepted Journal Article (2.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of the AAAS for personal
use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Collett, Thomas E., Oldham, Lindsay J., Smith, Russell J., Auger, Matthew W., Westfall, Kyle B., Bacon, David, Nichol, Robert C., Masters, Karen L., Koyama, Kazuya & van den Bosch, Remco (2018). A precise extragalactic test of General Relativity. Science 360(6395): 1342-1346.

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