Emergent gravity in galaxies and in the Solar System [GA]


It was recently proposed that the effects usually attributed to particle dark matter on galaxy scales are due to the displacement of dark energy by baryonic matter, a paradigm known as emergent gravity. This formalism leads to predictions similar to Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) in spherical symmetry, but not quite identical. In particular, it leads to a well defined transition between the Newtonian and the modified gravitational regimes, a transition depending on both the Newtonian acceleration and its first derivative with respect to radius. Under the hypothesis of the applicability of this transition to aspherical systems, we investigate whether it can reproduce observed galaxy rotation curves. We conclude that the formula leads to marginally acceptable fits with strikingly low best-fit distances, low stellar mass-to-light ratios, and a low Hubble constant. In particular, some unobserved wiggles are produced in rotation curves because of the dependence of the transition on the derivative of the Newtonian acceleration, leading, even in the most favorable case, to systematically less good fits than MOND. Then, applying the predicted transition from emergent gravity in a regime where it should be fully applicable, i.e. in spherical symmetry and outside of the bulk of matter, we show that the predictions for the secular advances of Solar System planets’ perihelia are discrepant with the data by seven orders of magnitude, ruling out the present emergent gravity formalism with high confidence.

Read this paper on arXiv…

A. Hees, B. Famaey and G. Bertone
Thu, 16 Feb 17

Comments: 10 pages, 2 figures, submitted