Cosmic acceleration and the helicity-0 graviton

Claudia De Rham, Gregory Gabadadze, Lavinia Heisenberg, David Pirtskhalava

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We explore cosmology in the decoupling limit of a nonlinear covariant extension of Fierz-Pauli massive gravity obtained recently in arXiv:1007.0443. In this limit the theory is a scalar-tensor model of a unique form defined by symmetries. We find that it admits a self-accelerated solution, with the Hubble parameter set by the graviton mass. The negative pressure causing the acceleration is due to a condensate of the helicity-0 component of the massive graviton, and the background evolution, in the approximation used, is indistinguishable from the ΛCDM model. Fluctuations about the self-accelerated background are stable for a certain range of parameters involved. Most surprisingly, the fluctuation of the helicity-0 field above its background decouples from an arbitrary source in the linearized theory. We also show how massive gravity can remarkably screen an arbitrarily large cosmological constant in the decoupling limit, while evading issues with ghosts. The obtained static solution is stable against small perturbations, suggesting that the degravitation of the vacuum energy is possible in the full theory. Interestingly, however, this mechanism postpones the Vainshtein effect to shorter distance scales. Hence, fifth force measurements severely constrain the value of the cosmological constant that can be neutralized, making this scheme phenomenologically not viable for solving the old cosmological constant problem. We briefly speculate on a possible way out of this issue.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number103516
    JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - May 11 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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