Cosmological Constraints on 4-Dimensional Einstein-Gauss-Bonnet Gravity

30 Oct 2023  ·  Carola M. A. Zanoletti, Brayden R. Hull, C. Danielle Leonard, Robert B. Mann ·

4-Dimensional Einstein-Gauss-Bonnet (4DEGB) gravity has garnered significant attention in the last few years as a phenomenological competitor to general relativity. We consider the theoretical and observational implications of this theory in both the early and late universe, (re-)deriving background and perturbation equations and constraining its characteristic parameters with data from cosmological probes. Our investigation surpasses the scope of previous studies by incorporating non-flat spatial sections. We explore consequences of 4DEGB on the sound and particle horizons in the very early universe, and demonstrate that 4DEGB can provide an independent solution to the horizon problem for some values of its characteristic parameter $\alpha$. Finally, we constrain an unexplored regime of this theory in the limit of small coupling $\alpha$ (empirically supported in the post-Big Bang Nucleosynthesis era by prior constraints). This version of 4DEGB includes a geometric term that resembles dark radiation at the background level, but whose influence on the perturbed equations is qualitatively distinct from that of standard forms of dark radiation. In this limit, only one beyond-$\Lambda$CDM degree of freedom persists, which we denote as $\tilde{\alpha}_C$. Our analysis yields the estimate $\tilde{\alpha}_C = (-9 \pm 6) \times 10^{-6}$ thereby providing a new constraint of a previously untested sector of 4DEGB.

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Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology