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A general framework to test gravity using galaxy clusters III: observable-mass scaling relations in f(R) gravity

Mitchell, Myles A and Arnold, Christian and Li, Baojiu (2021) 'A general framework to test gravity using galaxy clusters III: observable-mass scaling relations in f(R) gravity.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 502 (4). pp. 6101-6116.


We test two methods, including one that is newly proposed in this work, for correcting for the effects of chameleon f(R) gravity on the scaling relations between the galaxy cluster mass and four observable proxies. Using the first suite of cosmological simulations that simultaneously incorporate both full physics of galaxy formation and Hu-Sawicki f(R) gravity, we find that these rescaling methods work with a very high accuracy for the gas temperature, the Compton Y-parameter of the Sunyaev–Zel’dovich (SZ) effect and the X-ray analogue of the Y-parameter. This allows the scaling relations in f(R) gravity to be mapped to their Λ cold dark matter counterparts to within a few per cent. We confirm that a simple analytical tanh formula for the ratio between the dynamical and true masses of haloes in chameleon f(R) gravity, proposed and calibrated using dark-matter-only simulations in a previous work, works equally well for haloes identified in simulations with two very different – full-physics and non-radiative – baryonic models. The mappings of scaling relations can be computed using this tanh formula, which depends on the halo mass, redshift, and size of the background scalar field, also at a very good accuracy. Our results can be used for accurate determination of the cluster mass using SZ and X-ray observables, and will form part of a general framework for unbiased and self-consistent tests of gravity using data from present and upcoming galaxy cluster surveys. We also propose an alternative test of gravity, using the YX–temperature relation, which does not involve mass calibration.

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Publisher statement:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:15 February 2021
Date deposited:15 July 2021
Date of first online publication:19 February 2021
Date first made open access:15 July 2021

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