Friday, June 30, 2017
Requirements for Gravitational Theories
In this episode Jim and Randy talk about how to evaluate alternative gravity theories. What sort of things do we want them to explain, what experiments do they have to predict, and what theoretical requirements do they have to meet. This is in some ways a continuation of Episode 9  f(R) Theories of Gravity, but the discussion is relevant to all attempts to amend gravitational theory.

Notes:
1. "f(R) Theories of Gravity, by Thomas Sotiriou and Valerio Faraoni". The basis for this discussion and the last program's, as well.
2. The list Randy refers to in the episode. Probably just above this one. 3. Our subreddit.
List of Requirements for Gravitational Theories
Here it is without fanfare. If you have any questions about any part of it, please comment in the comments:

To be theoretically consistent and compatible with experiment, a theory of gravitation must:
(1) Predict correct cosmological dynamics
a. Big bang nucleosynthesis
(2) Produce the correct evolution of cosmological perturbations
a. Cosmic microwave background
b. Large scale structure
(3) Have the correct weakfield limits
a. Reproduces Newtonian Mechanics
b. Predicts postNewtonian experiments in weak field
c. Produces stable solutions
i. Matterside instabilities (DolgovKawasaki)
1. Ground states should be highly symmetric
ii. Gravityside instabilities
1. Stable de Sitter solutions
iii. Stability of the first loop in quantum gravity
iv. Stability in the face of inhomogeneous but isotropic perturbations
v. Black hole nucleation
(4) Not contain any ghost fields
(5) Admit a wellposed Cauchy problem
(6) Reasonable theory of gravity waves

To be theoretically consistent and compatible with experiment, a theory of gravitation must:
(1) Predict correct cosmological dynamics
a. Big bang nucleosynthesis
(2) Produce the correct evolution of cosmological perturbations
a. Cosmic microwave background
b. Large scale structure
(3) Have the correct weakfield limits
a. Reproduces Newtonian Mechanics
b. Predicts postNewtonian experiments in weak field
c. Produces stable solutions
i. Matterside instabilities (DolgovKawasaki)
1. Ground states should be highly symmetric
ii. Gravityside instabilities
1. Stable de Sitter solutions
iii. Stability of the first loop in quantum gravity
iv. Stability in the face of inhomogeneous but isotropic perturbations
v. Black hole nucleation
(4) Not contain any ghost fields
(5) Admit a wellposed Cauchy problem
(6) Reasonable theory of gravity waves
Friday, June 2, 2017
f(R) Theories of Gravity
Jim and Randy discuss gravitational theories that modify general relativity by changing the action using a polynomial dependence on the Ricci scalar. Although not physically motivated, some of these theories produce effects similar to those of dark matter, dark energy, and cosmological constants.

Notes:
1. "f(R) Theories of Gravity, by Thomas Sotiriou and Valerio Faraoni". The basis for this discussion and the next program's, as well.
2. Our subreddit.
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