Existence of two-solar-mass neutron star constrains gravitational constant G(N) at strong field

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In general relativity, there is a maximum mass allowed for neutron stars that, if exceeded, entails collapse into a black hole. Its precise value depends on details of the nuclear matter equation of state, a subject where much progress has been accomplished thanks to low energy effective theories. The discovery of a two-solar-mass neutron star, near that maximum mass, when analyzed with modern equations of state, implies that Newton's gravitational constant in the star cannot exceed its value on Earth by more than 12% at the 95% confidence level. This significantly extends the gravitational field intensity at which the constant has been constrained at the 10% level.
©2012 American Physical Society. F.J.L.-E. thanks the Caja Madrid Program for Advanced Studies for a grant and the theory group at TU-Munich for its hospitality and support via the Exzellenzcluster Origin and Structure of the Universe. This work has been supported by Grants No. 227431-HadronPhysics2 (EU), No. Consolider-CSD2007-00042, No. AIC10-D-000582, No. FPA2008-00592, No. FIS2008-01323, No. FPA2010-17806, 11871/PI/09 (Fundación Séneca, Murcia), and No. UCM-BSCH GR58/08 910309 (Spain). We thank L. Tolos for sharing her computer data with us and A. Polls for suggestions.
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