Cosmological evolution and Solar System consistency of massive scalar-tensor gravity

Thibaut Arnoulx De Pirey Saint Alby, Nicolás Yunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The scalar-tensor theory of Damour and Esposito-Farèse recently gained some renewed interest because of its ability to suppress modifications to general relativity in the weak field, while introducing large corrections in the strong field of compact objects through a process called scalarization. A large sector of this theory that allows for scalarization, however, has been shown to be in conflict with Solar System observations when accounting for the cosmological evolution of the scalar field. We here study an extension of this theory by endowing the scalar field with a mass to determine whether this allows the theory to pass Solar System constraints upon cosmological evolution for a larger sector of coupling parameter space. We show that the cosmological scalar field goes first through a quiescent phase, similar to the behavior of a massless field, but then it enters an oscillatory phase, with an amplitude (and frequency) that decays (and grows) exponentially. We further show that after the field enters the oscillatory phase, its effective energy density and pressure are approximately those of dust, as expected from previous cosmological studies. Due to these oscillations, we show that the scalar field cannot be treated as static today on astrophysical scales, and so we use time-dependent perturbation theory to compute the scalar-field-induced modifications to Solar System observables. We find that these modifications are suppressed when the mass of the scalar field and the coupling parameter of the theory are in a wide range, allowing the theory to pass Solar System constraints, while in principle possibly still allowing for scalarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064040
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume96
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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