A comparison of structure formation in minimally and non-minimally coupled quintessence models

Francesco Pace, Lauro Moscardini, Robert Crittenden, Matthias Bartelmann, Valeria Pettorino

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We study structure formation in non-minimally coupled dark energy models, where there is a coupling in the Lagrangian between a quintessence scalar field and gravity via the Ricci scalar. We consider models with a range of different non-minimal coupling strengths and compare these to minimally coupled quintessence models with time-dependent dark energy densities. The equations of state of the latter are tuned to either reproduce the equation of state of the non-minimally coupled models or their background history. Thereby they provide a reference to study the unique imprints of coupling on structure formation. We show that the coupling between gravity and the scalar field, which effectively results in a time-varying gravitational constant G, is not negligible and its effect can be distinguished from a minimally coupled model. We extend previous work on this subject by showing that major differences appear in the determination of the mass function at high masses, where we observe differences of the order of 40 per cent at z = 0. Our new results concern effects on the non-linear matter power spectrum and on the lensing signal (differences of ≈10 per cent for both quantities), where we find that non-minimally coupled models could be distinguished from minimally coupled ones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-561
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Early online date7 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • methods: analytical
  • cosmology: theory
  • dark energy
  • RCUK
  • STFC
  • ST/H002774/1


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