Astrophysical tests of gravity: a screening map of the nearby universe

Anna Cabre, Vinu Vikram, Gong-bo Zhao, Bhuvnesh Jain, Kazuya Koyama

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Astrophysical tests of modified modified gravity theories in the nearby universe have been emphasized recently by Hui, Nicolis and Stubbs (2009) and Jain and VanderPlas (2011). A key element of such tests is the screening mechanism whereby general relativity is restored in massive halos or high density environments like the Milky Way. In chameleon theories of gravity, including all f(R) models, field dwarf galaxies may be unscreened and therefore feel an extra force, as opposed to screened galaxies. The first step to study differences between screened and unscreened galaxies is to create a 3D screening map. We use N-body simulations to test and calibrate simple approximations to determine the level of screening in galaxy catalogs. Sources of systematic errors in the screening map due to observational inaccuracies are modeled and their contamination is estimated. We then apply our methods to create a map out to 200 Mpc in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey footprint using data from the Sloan survey and other sources. In two companion papers this map will be used to carry out new tests of gravity using distance indicators and the disks of dwarf galaxies. We also make our screening map publicly available.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)034
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


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