Published in:

Physical Review D 69,4 (2004) 042001;


In a previous work, we proposed a new test of general relativity (GR) based on a general deflection formula which applies to all values of asymptotic speed V-infinity (0less than or equal toV(infinity)less than or equal to1). The formula simplifies to Einstein's light deflection result when V-infinity=1. At low velocity, the general deflection equation reduces to the classical Newtonian contribution along with additional terms which contain the GR effect. A spacecraft, such as the proposed interstellar mission which involves a close pass of the Sun, can be used to exaggerate the GR effect so that it can be accurately measured. In this paper we provide a detailed derivation of the general deflection equation, expressed in terms of the parametrized post-Newtonian constants beta and gamma. The resulting formula demonstrates that by measuring spacecraft trajectories we can determine beta and gamma independently. We show via a detailed covariance analysis that beta and gamma may be determined to a precision of similar to4x10(-5) and similar to8x10(-6), respectively, using foreseeable improvements in spacecraft tracking.



Date of this Version

January 2004



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