Constraints on Horndeski theory using the observations of Nordtvedt effect, Shapiro time delay and binary pulsars
Alternative theories of gravity not only modify the polarization contents of the gravitational wave, but also affect the motions of the stars and the energy radiated away via the gravitational radiation. These aspects leave imprints in the observational data, which enables the test of general relativity and its alternatives. In this work, the Nordtvedt effect and the Shapiro time delay are calculated in order to constrain Horndeski theory using the observations of lunar laser ranging experiments and Cassini time-delay data. The effective stress-energy tensor is also obtained using the method of Isaacson. Gravitational wave radiation of a binary system is calculated, and the change of the period of a binary system is deduced for the elliptical orbit. These results can be used to set constraints on Horndeski theory with the observations of binary systems, such as PSR J1738 + 0333. Constraints have been obtained for some subclasses of Horndeski theory, in particular, those satisfying the gravitational wave speed limits from GW170817 and GRB 170817A.