Publications by Pedro Ferreira

The fifth force in the local cosmic web

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters Oxford University Press 483 (2018) L64-L68

H Desmond, P Ferreira, G Lavaux, J Jasche

Extensions of the standard models of particle physics and cosmology often lead to long-range fifth forces with properties dependent on gravitational environment. Fifth forces on astrophysical scales are best studied in the cosmic web where perturbation theory breaks down. We present constraints on chameleon- and symmetron-screened fifth forces with Yukawa coupling and megaparsec range – as well as unscreened fifth forces with differential coupling to galactic mass components – by searching for the displacements they predict between galaxies’ stars and gas. Taking data from the AlfalfaH I survey, identifying galaxies’ gravitational environments with the maps of Desmond et al. and forward modelling with a Bayesian likelihood framework, we set upper bounds on fifth-force strength relative to Newtonian gravity from ∼few × 10−4 (1σ) for range λC = 50 Mpc, to ∼0.1 for λC = 500 kpc. In f(R) gravity this requires fR0 ≲ few × 10−8. The analogous bounds without screening are ∼few × 10−4 and few × 10−3. These are the tightest and among the only fifth-force constraints on galaxy scales. We show how our results may be strengthened with future survey data and identify the key features of an observational programme for furthering fifth-force tests beyond the Solar system.

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