Dark energy and doubly coupled bigravity

Philippe Brax, Anne-Christine Davis, Johannes Noller

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We analyse the late time cosmology and the gravitational properties of doubly coupled bigravity in the constrained vielbein formalism (equivalent to the metric formalism) when the mass of the massive graviton is of the order of the present Hubble rate. We focus on one of the two branches of background cosmology where the ratio between the scale factors of the two metrics is algebraically determined. We find that the late time physics depends on the mass of the graviton, which dictates the future asymptotic cosmological constant. The Universe evolves from a matter dominated epoch to a dark energy dominated era where the equation of state of dark energy can always be made close to  −1 now by appropriately tuning the graviton mass. We also analyse the perturbative spectrum of the theory in the quasi-static approximation, well below the strong coupling scale where no instability is present, and we show that there are five scalar degrees of freedom, two vectors and two gravitons. In Minkowski space, where the four Newtonian potentials vanish, the theory manifestly reduces to one massive and one massless graviton. In a cosmological FRW background for both metrics, four of the five scalars are Newtonian potentials which lead to a modification of gravity on large scales. The fifth one gives rise to a ghost which decouples from pressure-less matter in the quasi-static approximation. In this scalar sector, gravity is modified with effects on both the growth of structure and the lensing potential. In particular, we find that the ∑ parameter governing the Poisson equation of the weak lensing potential can differ from one in the recent past of the Universe. Overall, the nature of the modification of gravity at low energy, which reveals itself in the growth of structure and the lensing potential, is intrinsically dependent on the couplings to matter and the potential term of the vielbeins. We also find that the time variation of Newton's constant in the Jordan frame can easily satisfy the bound from solar system tests of gravity. Finally we show that the two gravitons present in the spectrum have a non-trivial mass matrix whose origin follows from the potential term of bigravity. This mixing leads to gravitational birefringence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number095014
Pages (from-to)1-44
Number of pages44
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2017


  • RCUK
  • STFC
  • ST/L000385/1
  • ST/L000636/1


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