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Observational constraints on nonlinear matter extensions of general relativity: Separable trace power models

E. -A. Kolonia, C. J. A. P. Martins

The search for the physical mechanism underlying the observational evidence for the acceleration of the recent universe is a compelling goal of modern fundamental cosmology. Here we quantitatively study a class of homogeneous and isotropic cosmological models in which the matter side of Einstein's equations includes, in addition to the canonical term, a term proportional to the trace of the energy-momentum tensor, T = ρ - 3 p , and constrain these models using low redshift background cosmology data. One may think of these models as extensions of general relativity with a nonlinear matter Lagrangian, and they can be studied either as phenomenological extensions of the standard ΛCDM model, containing both matter and a cosmological constant, or as direct alternatives to it, where there is no cosmological constant but the additional terms would have to be responsible for accelerating the universe. Overall, our main finding is that parametric extensions of ΛCDM are tightly constrained, with additional model parameters being constrained to their canonical behaviours to within one standard deviation, while alternative models in this class (which do not have a ΛCDM limit) are ruled out. This provides some insight on the level of robustness of the ΛCDM model and on the parameter space still available for phenomenological alternatives and extensions.

Dark energy; Modified gravity; ΛCDM extensions; Cosmological parameter constraints; Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics; General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology; High Energy Physics - Phenomenology

Physics of the Dark Universe
Volume 36
2022 June

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia