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Towards testing the theory of gravity with DESI: summary statistics, model predictions and future simulation requirements

Alam, Shadab and Arnold, Christian and Aviles, Alejandro and Bean, Rachel and Cai, Yan-Chuan and Cautun, Marius and Cervantes-Cota, Jorge L. and Cuesta-Lazaro, Carolina and Chandrachani Devi, N. and Eggemeier, Alexander and Fromenteau, Sebastien and Gonzalez-Morales, Alma X. and Halenka, Vitali and He, Jian-hua and Hellwing, Wojciech A. and Hernandez-Aguayo, Cesar and Ishak, Mustapha and Koyama, Kazuya and Li, Baojiu and de la Macorra, Axel and Menesses Rizo, Jennifer and Miller, Christopher and Mueller, Eva-Maria and Niz, Gustavo and Ntelis, Pierros and Rodriguez Otero, Matias and Sabiu, Cristiano G. and Slepian, Zachary and Stark, Alejo and Valenzuela, Octavio and Valogiannis, Georgios and Vargas-Magana, Mariana and Winther, Hans A. and Zarrouk, Pauline and Zhao, Gong-Bo and Zheng, Yi (2021) 'Towards testing the theory of gravity with DESI: summary statistics, model predictions and future simulation requirements.', Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 11 . 050.


Shortly after its discovery, General Relativity (GR) was applied to predict the behavior of our Universe on the largest scales, and later became the foundation of modern cosmology. Its validity has been verified on a range of scales and environments from the Solar system to merging black holes. However, experimental confirmations of GR on cosmological scales have so far lacked the accuracy one would hope for -- its applications on those scales being largely based on extrapolation and its validity sometimes questioned in the shadow of the unexpected cosmic acceleration. Future astronomical instruments surveying the distribution and evolution of galaxies over substantial portions of the observable Universe, such as the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), will be able to measure the fingerprints of gravity and their statistical power will allow strong constraints on alternatives to GR. In this paper, based on a set of N-body simulations and mock galaxy catalogs, we study the predictions of a number of traditional and novel estimators beyond linear redshift distortions in two well-studied modified gravity models, chameleon f(R) gravity and a braneworld model, and the potential of testing these deviations from GR using DESI. These estimators employ a wide array of statistical properties of the galaxy and the underlying dark matter field, including two-point and higher-order statistics, environmental dependence, redshift space distortions and weak lensing. We find that they hold promising power for testing GR to unprecedented precision. The major future challenge is to make realistic, simulation-based mock galaxy catalogs for both GR and alternative models to fully exploit the statistic power of the DESI survey and to better understand the impact of key systematic effects. Using these, we identify future simulation and analysis needs for gravity tests using DESI.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd on behalf of Sissa Medialab. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI
Date accepted:07 October 2021
Date deposited:28 October 2021
Date of first online publication:25 November 2021
Date first made open access:14 January 2022

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