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Dark Energy After GW170817: Dead Ends and the Road Ahead
Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics, LBNL, USA; University of California at Berkeley, USA; Université Paris Saclay, France.
Number of Authors: 2
2017 (English)In: Physical Review Letters, ISSN 0031-9007, E-ISSN 1079-7114, Vol. 119, no 25, article id 251304Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Multimessenger gravitational-wave (GW) astronomy has commenced with the detection of the binary neutron star merger GW170817 and its associated electromagnetic counterparts. The almost coincident observation of both signals places an exquisite bound on the GW speed vertical bar c(g)/c-1 vertical bar <= 5 x 10(-1)6. We use this result to probe the nature of dark energy (DE), showing that a large class of scalar-tensor theories and DE models are highly disfavored. As an example we consider the covariant Galileon, a cosmologically viable, well motivated gravity theory which predicts a variable GW speed at low redshift. Our results eliminate any late-universe application of these models, as well as their Horndeski and most of their beyond Horndeski generalizations. Three alternatives (and their combinations) emerge as the only possible scalar-tensor DE models: (1) restricting Horndeski's action to its simplest terms, (2) applying a conformal transformation which preserves the causal structure, and (3) compensating the different terms that modify the GW speed (to be robust, the compensation has to be independent on the background on which GWs propagate). Our conclusions extend to any other gravity theory predicting varying c(g) such as Einstein-Aether, Ho. rava gravity, Generalized Proca, tensor-vector-scalar gravity (TEVES), and other MOND-like gravities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 119, no 25, article id 251304
Keyword [en]
Alternative gravity theories, Dark energy, Gravitational waves
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150954DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.251304ISI: 000418202700008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150954DiVA, id: diva2:1174029
Available from: 2018-01-15 Created: 2018-01-15 Last updated: 2018-01-15Bibliographically approved

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