Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Probing theories of gravity with phase space-inferred potentials of galaxy clusters

Stark, A.; Miller, C.J.; Kern, N.; Gifford, D.; Zhao, G.-B.; Li, B.; Koyama, K.; Nichol, R.C.

Probing theories of gravity with phase space-inferred potentials of galaxy clusters Thumbnail


A. Stark

C.J. Miller

N. Kern

D. Gifford

G.-B. Zhao

K. Koyama

R.C. Nichol


Modified theories of gravity provide us with a unique opportunity to generate innovative tests of gravity. In Chameleon f(R) gravity, the gravitational potential differs from the weak-field limit of general relativity (GR) in a mass dependent way. We develop a probe of gravity which compares high mass clusters, where Chameleon effects are weak, to low mass clusters, where the effects can be strong. We utilize the escape velocity edges in the radius/velocity phase space to infer the gravitational potential profiles on scales of 0.3–1 virial radii. We show that the escape edges of low mass clusters are enhanced compared to GR, where the magnitude of the difference depends on the background field value |fR0¯¯¯¯¯|. We validate our probe using N-body simulations and simulated light cone galaxy data. For a Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument Bright Galaxy Sample, including observational systematics, projection effects, and cosmic variance, our test can differentiate between GR and Chameleon f(R) gravity models, |fR0¯¯¯¯¯|=4×10−6 (2×10−6) at >5σ (>2σ), more than an order of magnitude better than current cluster-scale constraints.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 29, 2016
Online Publication Date Apr 20, 2016
Publication Date Apr 20, 2016
Deposit Date May 24, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 21, 2016
Journal Physical Review D
Print ISSN 2470-0010
Electronic ISSN 2470-0029
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 93
Issue 8
Article Number 084036
Public URL


Published Journal Article (447 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Reprinted with permission from the American Physical Society: Physical Review D 93, 084036 © (2016) 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.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations