Insight into the baryon-gravity relation in galaxies

Benoit Famaey, Gianfranco Gentile, Jean-Philippe Bruneton, Hongsheng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Observations of spiral galaxies strongly support a one-to-one analytical relation between the inferred gravity of dark matter at any radius and the enclosed baryonic mass. It is baffling that baryons manage to settle the dark matter gravitational potential in such a precise way, leaving no "messy" fingerprints of the merging events and "gastrophysical" feedbacks expected in the history of a galaxy in a concordance Universe. This correlation of gravity with baryonic mass can be interpreted from several nonstandard angles, especially as a modification of gravity called TeVeS, in which no galactic dark matter is needed. In this theory, the baryon-gravity relation is captured by the dieletric-like function mu of modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND), controlling the transition from 1/r(2) attraction in the strong gravity regime to 1/r attraction in the weak regime. Here, we study this mu-function in detail. We investigate the observational constraints upon it from fitting galaxy rotation curves, unveiling the degeneracy between the stellar mass-to-light ratio and the mu-function as well as the importance of the sharpness of transition from the strong to weak gravity regimes. We also numerically address the effects of nonspherical baryon geometry in the framework of nonlinear TeVeS, and exhaustively examine how the mu-function connects with the free function of that theory. In that regard, we exhibit the subtle effects and wide implications of renormalizing the gravitational constant. We finally present a discontinuity-free transition between quasistatic galaxies and the evolving Universe for the free function of TeVeS, inevitably leading to a return to 1/r(2) attraction at very low accelerations in isolated galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)063002
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical review. D, Particles, fields, gravitation, and cosmology
Volume75
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • MODIFIED NEWTONIAN DYNAMICS
  • SURFACE BRIGHTNESS GALAXIES
  • EXTENDED ROTATION CURVES
  • TULLY-FISHER RELATION
  • DARK-MATTER HALOES
  • SPIRAL GALAXIES
  • STELLAR MASS
  • MILKY-WAY
  • MOND
  • DWARF

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