## The Power of General Relativity

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##### Volume

72

##### Pagination

103005 - ?

##### DOI

10.1103/PhysRevD.72.103005

##### Journal

Phys.Rev.D

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Show full item record##### Abstract

We study the cosmological and weak-field properties of theories of gravity derived by extending general relativity by means of a Lagrangian proportional to $R^{1+\delta}$. This scale-free extension reduces to general relativity when $\delta \to 0$. In order to constrain generalisations of general relativity of this power class we analyse the behaviour of the perfect-fluid Friedmann universes and isolate the physically relevant models of zero curvature. A stable matter-dominated period of evolution requires $\delta >0$ or $\delta <-1/4$. The stable attractors of the evolution are found. By considering the synthesis of light elements (helium-4, deuterium and lithium-7) we obtain the bound $-0.017<\delta <0.0012.$ We evaluate the effect on the power spectrum of clustering via the shift in the epoch of matter-radiation equality. The horizon size at matter--radiation equality will be shifted by $\sim 1%$ for a value of $\delta \sim 0.0005.$ We study the stable extensions of the Schwarzschild solution in these theories and calculate the timelike and null geodesics. No significant bounds arise from null geodesic effects but the perihelion precession observations lead to the strong bound $\delta =2.7\pm 4.5\times 10^{-19}$ assuming that Mercury follows a timelike geodesic. The combination of these observational constraints leads to the overall bound $0\leq \delta <7.2\times 10^{-19}$ on theories of this type.