Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Symmetron scalar fields: modified gravity, dark matter, or both?

Burrage, Clare; Copeland, Edmund J.; K�ding, Christian; Millington, Peter


Christian K�ding

Peter Millington


Scalar fields coupled to gravity through the Ricci scalar have been considered both as dark matter candidates and as a possible modified gravity explanation for galactic dynamics. It has recently been demonstrated that the dynamics of baryonic matter in disk galaxies may be explained, in the absence of particle dark matter, by a symmetron scalar field that mediates a fifth force. The symmetron provides a concrete and archetypal field theory within which to explore how large a role modifications of gravity can play on galactic scales. In this article, we extend these previous works by asking whether the same symmetron field can explain the difference between the baryonic and lens masses of galaxies through a modification of gravity. We consider the possibilities for minimal modifications of the model and find that this difference cannot be explained entirely by the symmetron fifth force without extending the field content of the model. Instead, we are pushed toward a regime of parameter space where one scalar field both mediates a fifth force and stores enough energy density that it also contributes to the galaxy’s gravitational potential as a dark matter component, a regime which remains to be fully explored.


Burrage, C., Copeland, E. J., Käding, C., & Millington, P. (2019). Symmetron scalar fields: modified gravity, dark matter, or both?. Physical Review D, 99(4), Article 043539.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 17, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 25, 2019
Publication Date Feb 15, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 4, 2019
Journal Physical Review D
Print ISSN 2470-0010
Electronic ISSN 2470-0029
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 99
Issue 4
Article Number 043539
Keywords Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Symmetron scalar fields: modified gravity, dark matter, or both?, Clare Burrage, Edmund J. Copeland, Christian Käding, and Peter Millington. Physical Review D 99, 043539 (2019)


You might also like

Downloadable Citations