Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
What is modified gravity and how to differentiate it from particle dark matter?
Physics and Astronomy, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QH, UK
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 10 February 2017
Published online: 25 February 2017
An obvious criterion to classify theories of modified gravity is to identify their gravitational degrees of freedom and their coupling to the metric and the matter sector. Using this simple idea, we show that any theory which depends on the curvature invariants is equivalent to general relativity in the presence of new fields that are gravitationally coupled to the energy-momentum tensor. We show that they can be shifted into a new energy-momentum tensor. There is no a priori reason to identify these new fields as gravitational degrees of freedom or matter fields. This leads to an equivalence between dark matter particles gravitationally coupled to the standard model fields and modified gravity theories designed to account for the dark matter phenomenon. Due to this ambiguity, it is impossible to differentiate experimentally between these theories and any attempt of doing so should be classified as a mere interpretation of the same phenomenon.
© The Author(s), 2017