Nonlocal Infrared Modifications of Gravity. A Review

Thursday, 28 July, 2016

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We review an approach developed in the last few years by our group in which GR is modified in the infrared, at an effective level, by nonlocal terms associated to a mass scale. We begin by recalling the notion of quantum effective action and its associated nonlocalities, illustrating some of their features with the anomaly-induced effective actions in D=2 and D=4. We examine conceptual issues of nonlocal theories such as causality, degrees of freedoms and ghosts, stressing the importance of the fact that these nonlocalities only emerge at the effective level. We discuss a particular class of nonlocal theories where the nonlocal operator is associated to a mass scale, and we show that they perform very well in the comparison with cosmological observations, to the extent that they fit CMB, supernovae, BAO and structure formation data at a level fully competitive with ΛCDM, with the same number of free parameters. We explore some extensions of these `minimal' models, and we finally discuss some directions of investigation for deriving the required effective nonlocality from a fundamental local QFT.


Michele Maggiore