The chameleon gravity model postulates the existence of a scalar field that couples with matter to mediate a fifth force. If it exists, this fifth force would influence the hot X-ray emitting gas filling the potential wells of galaxy clusters. However, it would not influence the clusters' weak lensing signal. Therefore, by comparing X-ray and weak lensing profiles, one can place upper limits on the strength of a fifth force. This technique has been attempted before using a single, nearby cluster (Coma, z=0.02). Here we apply the technique to the stacked profiles of 58 clusters at higher redshifts (0.1 < z < 1.2 ), including 12 new to the literature, using X-ray data from the XMM Cluster Survey (XCS) and weak lensing data from the Canada France Hawaii Telescope Lensing Survey (CFHTLenS). Using a multiparameter MCMC analysis, we constrain the two chameleon gravity parameters (β and φ∞). Our fits are consistent with general relativity, not requiring a fifth force. In the special case of f(R) gravity (where β =√1/6), we set an upper limit on the background field amplitude today of |fR0|< 6 × 10−5 (95% CL). This is one of the strongest constraints to date on |fR0| on cosmological scales. We hope to improve this constraint in future by extending the study to hundreds of clusters using data from the Dark Energy Survey.
- DB, RN, AKR, KK and ARL are supported by the UK STFC grants ST/K00090/1, ST/K00090/1, STL000652/1, ST/L005573/1 and ST/L000644/1
- gravitational lensing: weak
- X-rays: galaxies: clusters