http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.4329

The observed acceleration of the Universe can be explained by modifying general relativity. One such attempt is the nonlocal model of Deser and Woodard. Here we fix the background cosmology using results from the Planck satellite and examine the predictions of nonlocal gravity for the evolution of structure in the universe, confronting the model with three tests: gravitational lensing, redshift space distortions, and the estimator of gravity $E_G$. Current data favor general relativity (GR) over nonlocal gravity: fixing primordial cosmology with the best fit parameters from Planck leads to weak lensing results favoring GR by 5.9 sigma; redshift space distortions measurements of the growth rate preferring GR by 7.8 sigma; and the single measurement of $E_G$ favoring GR, but by less than 1-sigma. The significance holds up even after the parameters are allowed to vary within Planck limits. The larger lesson is that a successful modified gravity model will likely have to suppress the growth of structure compared to general relativity.

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Date added: Thu, 17 Oct 13

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