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We present a method to introduce relativistic corrections including linear dark energy perturbations in Horndeski theory into Newtonian simulations based on the N-body gauge approach. We assume that standard matter species (cold dark matter, baryons, photons and neutrinos) are only gravitationally-coupled with the scalar field and we then use the fact that one can include modified gravity effects as an effective dark energy fluid in the total energy-momentum tensor. In order to compute the scalar field perturbations, as well as the cosmological background and metric perturbations, we use the Einstein-Boltzmann code hi_class. As an example, we study the impact of relativistic corrections on the matter power spectrum in k-essence, a subclass of Horndeski theory, including the effects of massless and massive neutrinos. For massive neutrinos with ∑ mν = 0.1 eV, the corrections due to relativistic species (photons, neutrinos and dark energy) can introduce a maximum deviation of approximately 7% to the power spectrum at k ~ 10−3 Mpc−1 at z=0, for a scalar field with sound speed cs2~0.013 during matter domination epoch. Our formalism makes it possible to test beyond \lcdm models probed by upcoming large-scale structure surveys on very large scales.
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