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Novel Probes Project: Tests of Gravity on Astrophysical Scales

Baker, Tessa; Barreira, Alexandre; Desmond, Harry; Ferreira, Pedro; Jain, Bhuvnesh; Koyama, Kazuya; Li, Baojiu; Lombriser, Lucas; Nicola, Andrina; Sakstein, Jeremy; Schmidt, Fabian

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Tessa Baker

Alexandre Barreira

Harry Desmond

Pedro Ferreira

Bhuvnesh Jain

Kazuya Koyama

Lucas Lombriser

Andrina Nicola

Jeremy Sakstein

Fabian Schmidt


The Novel Probes Project, an initiative to advance the field of astrophysical tests of the dark sector by creating a forum that connects observers and theorists, is introduced. This review focuses on tests of gravity and is intended to be of use primarily to observers, as well as theorists with an interest in the development of experimental tests. It is twinned with a separate upcoming review on dark matter self-interactions. The review focuses on astrophysical tests of gravity in the weak-field regime, ranging from stars to quasilinear cosmological scales. This regime is complementary to both strong-field tests of gravity and background and linear probes in cosmology. In particular, the nonlinear screening mechanisms that are an integral part of viable modified-gravity models lead to characteristic signatures, specifically on astrophysical scales. The potential of these probes is not limited by cosmic variance but comes with the challenge of building robust theoretical models of the nonlinear dynamics of stars, galaxies, and large-scale structure. The groundwork is laid for a thorough exploration of the weak-field, nonlinear regime, with an eye to using the current and next generation of observations for tests of gravity. The scene is set by showing how gravitational theories beyond general relativity are expected to behave, focusing primarily on screening mechanisms. Analytic and numerical techniques for exploring the relevant astrophysical regime are described, as are the pertinent observational signals. With these in hand a range of astrophysical tests of gravity are presented, and prospects for future measurements and theoretical developments are discussed.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Feb 10, 2021
Publication Date Jan 1, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 23, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 30, 2021
Journal Reviews of Modern Physics
Print ISSN 0034-6861
Electronic ISSN 1539-0756
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 93
Article Number 015003
Public URL
Related Public URLs


Published Journal Article (4.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Reprinted with permission from the American Physical Society: Baker, Tessa, Barreira, Alexandre, Desmond, Harry, Ferreira, Pedro, Jain, Bhuvnesh, Koyama, Kazuya, Li, Baojiu, Lombriser, Lucas Nicola, Andrina, Sakstein, Jeremy & Schmidt, Fabian (2021). Novel Probes Project: Tests of Gravity on Astrophysical Scales. Reviews of Modern Physics 93: 015003. © 2021 by the American Physical Society. Readers may view, browse, and/or download material for temporary copying purposes only, provided these uses are for noncommercial personal purposes. Except as provided by law, this material may not be further reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, adapted, performed, displayed, published, or sold in whole or part, without prior written permission from the American Physical Society.

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