Signatures of modified gravity on the 21 cm power spectrum at reionisation

Philippe Brax, Sébastien Clesse, Anne Christine Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scalar modifications of gravity have an impact on the growth of structure. Baryon and Cold Dark Matter (CDM) perturbations grow anomalously for scales within the Compton wavelength of the scalar field. In the late time Universe when reionisation occurs, the spectrum of the 21 cm brightness temperature is thus affected. We study this effect for chameleon-f(R) models, dilatons and symmetrons. Although the f(R) models are more tightly constrained by solar system bounds, and effects on dilaton models are negligible, we find that symmetrons where the phase transition occurs before z#2606; ∼ 12 could be detectable for a scalar field range as low as 5kpc. For all these models, the detection prospects of modified gravity effects are higher when considering modes parallel to the line of sight where very small scales can be probed. The study of the 21 cm spectrum thus offers a complementary approach to testing modified gravity with large scale structure surveys. Short scales, which would be highly non-linear in the very late time Universe when structure forms and where modified gravity effects are screened, appear in the linear spectrum of 21 cm physics, hence deviating from General Relativity in a maximal way.

Original languageEnglish
Article number003
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • modified gravity
  • power spectrum
  • reionization


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