Classifying Linearly Shielded Modified Gravity Models in Effective Field Theory

Lucas Lombriser*, Andy Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


We study the model space generated by the time-dependent operator coefficients in the effective field theory of the cosmological background evolution and perturbations of modified gravity and dark energy models. We identify three classes of modified gravity models that reduce to Newtonian gravity on the small scales of linear theory. These general classes contain enough freedom to simultaneously admit a matching of the concordance model background expansion history. In particular, there exists a large model space that mimics the concordance model on all linear quasistatic subhorizon scales as well as in the background evolution. Such models also exist when restricting the theory space to operators introduced in Horndeski scalar-tensor gravity. We emphasize that whereas the partially shielded scenarios might be of interest to study in connection with tensions between large and small scale data, with conventional cosmological probes, the ability to distinguish the fully shielded scenarios from the concordance model on near-horizon scales will remain limited by cosmic variance. Novel tests of the large-scale structure remedying this deficiency and accounting for the full covariant nature of the alternative gravitational theories, however, might yield further insights on gravity in this regime.

Original languageEnglish
Article number031101
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2015




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