[1201.1697] Modifying Gravity: You Can't Always Get What You Want

Authors: Glenn D. Starkman

Date: 9 Jan 2012

Abstract: The combination of GR and the Standard Model disagrees with numerous observations on scales from our Solar System up. In the concordance model of cosmology, these contradictions are removed or alleviated by the introduction of three completely independent new components of stress-energy -- the inflaton, dark matter, and dark energy. Each of these in its turn is meant to have (or to currently) dominate the dynamics of the universe. There is still no non-gravitational evidence for any of these dark sectors; nor for the required extensions of the standard model. An alternative is to imagine that GR itself must be modified. Certain coincidences of scale even suggest that one might expect not to have to make three independent. Because they must address the most different types of data, attempts to replace dark matter with modified gravity are the most controversial. A phenomenological model (or family of models), Modified Newtonian Dynamics, has, over the last few years seen several covariant realizations. We discuss a number of challenges that any model that seeks to replace dark matter with modified gravity must face: the loss of Birkhoff's Theorem, and the calculational simplifications it implies; the failure to explain clusters, whether static or interacting, and the consequent need to introduce dark matter of some form, whether hot dark matter neutrinos, or dark fields that arise in new sectors of the modified gravity theory; the intrusion of cosmological expansion into the modified force law, that arises precisely because of the coincidence in scale between the centripetal acceleration at which Newtonian gravity fails in galaxies, and the cosmic acceleration. We conclude with the observation that, although modified gravity may indeed manage to replace dark matter, it is likely to do so by becoming or incorporating, a dark matter theory itself.

abs pdf

Jan 17, 2012

1201.1697 (/preprints)
2012-01-17, 14:48 [edit]


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