We review the underpinnings of the standard Newton Einstein theory of gravity, and identify where it could possibly go wrong. In particular, we discuss the logical independence from each other of the general covariance principle, the equivalence principle and the Einstein equations, and discuss how to constrain the matter energy momentum tensor which serves as the source of gravity. We identify the a priori assumption of the validity of standard gravity on all distance scales as the root cause of the dark matter and dark energy problems, and discuss how the freedom currently present in gravitational theory can enable us to construct candidate alternatives to the standard theory in which the dark matter and dark energy problems could then be resolved. We identify three generic aspects of these alternate approaches: that it is a universal acceleration scale which determines when a luminous Newtonian expectation is to fail to fit data, that there is a global cosmological effect on local galactic motions which can replace galactic dark matter, and that to solve the cosmological constant problem it is not necessary to quench the cosmological constant itself, but only the amount by which it gravitates.
Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics
- Pub Date:
- April 2006
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- LaTeX, 87 pages, 3 figures. To appear in Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics, 2005. Final version, contains expanded references and footnotes