Unscreening Modified Gravity in the Matter Power Spectrum

Lucas Lombriser*, Fergus Simpson, Alexander Mead

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


Viable modifications of gravity that may produce cosmic acceleration need to be screened in high-density regions such as the Solar System, where general relativity is well tested. Screening mechanisms also prevent strong anomalies in the large-scale structure and limit the constraints that can be inferred on these gravity models from cosmology. We find that by suppressing the contribution of the screened high-density regions in the matter power spectrum, allowing a greater contribution of unscreened low densities, modified gravity models can be more readily discriminated from the concordance cosmology. Moreover, by variation of density thresholds, degeneracies with other effects may be dealt with more adequately. Specializing to chameleon gravity as a worked example for screening in modified gravity, employing N-body simulations of f(R) models and the halo model of chameleon theories, we demonstrate the effectiveness of this method. We find that a percent-level measurement of the clipped power at k <0.3h/Mpc can yield constraints on chameleon models that are more stringent than what is inferred from Solar System tests or distance indicators in unscreened dwarf galaxies. Finally, we verify that our method is also applicable to the Vainshtein mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number251101
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2015




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