New probe of departures from general relativity using Minkowski functionals

Wenjuan Fang*, Baojiu Li, Gong Bo Zhao

*Corresponding author for this work

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The morphological properties of the large scale structure of the Universe can be fully described by four Minkowski functionals (MFs), which provide important complementary information to other statistical observables such as the widely used 2-point statistics in configuration and Fourier spaces. In this work, for the first time, we present the differences in the morphology of the large scale structure caused by modifications to general relativity (to address the cosmic acceleration problem), by measuring the MFs from N-body simulations of modified gravity and general relativity. We find strong statistical power when using the MFs to constrain modified theories of gravity: with a galaxy survey that has survey volume ∼0.125(h-1 Gpc)3 and galaxy number density ∼1/(h-1 Mpc)3, the two normal-branch Dvali-Gabadadze-Porrati models and the F5 f(R) model that we simulated can be discriminated from the ΛCDM model at a significance level 5σ with an individual MF measurement. Therefore, the MF of the large scale structure is potentially a powerful probe of gravity, and its application to real data deserves active exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number181301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2017


  • RCUK
  • STFC
  • ST/L00075X/1
  • ST/K00042X/1
  • ST/K00087X/1
  • ST/K003267/1


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