Constraint propagation equations of the 3+1 decomposition of f(R) gravity

Vasileios Paschalidis, Seyyed M.H. Halataei, Stuart L. Shapiro, Ignacy Sawicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Theories of gravity other than general relativity (GR) can explain the observed cosmic acceleration without a cosmological constant. One such class of theories of gravity is f(R). Metric f(R) theories have been proven to be equivalent to Brans-Dicke (BD) scalar-tensor gravity without a kinetic term (ω = 0). Using this equivalence and a 3+1 decomposition of the theory, it has been shown that metric f(R) gravity admits a well-posed initial value problem. However, it has not been proven that the 3+1 evolution equations of metric f(R) gravity preserve the (Hamiltonian and momentum) constraints. In this paper, we show that this is indeed the case. In addition, we show that the mathematical form of the constraint propagation equations in BD-equilavent f(R) gravity and in f(R) gravity in both the Jordan and Einstein frames is exactly the same as in the standard ADM 3+1 decomposition of GR. Finally, we point out that current numerical relativity codes can incorporate the 3+1 evolution equations of metric f(R) gravity by modifying the stress-energy tensor and adding an additional scalar field evolution equation. We hope that this work will serve as a starting point for relativists to develop fully dynamical codes for valid f(R) models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number085006
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 21 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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