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Does the missing mass problem signal the breakdown of Newtonian gravity?
Bekenstein, J.; Milgrom, M.
AA(Negev, University, Beersheba, Israel), AB(Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 286, Nov. 1, 1984, p. 7-14. Research supported by the MINERVA Foundation. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Galactic Rotation, Gravitation Theory, Mass Distribution, Missing Mass (Astrophysics), Newton Theory, Nonrelativistic Mechanics, Potential Theory, Computational Astrophysics, Cosmology, Equivalence, Poisson Equation
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A nonrelativistic potential theory for gravity is considered which differs from the Newtonian theory. The theory is built on the basic assumptions of the modified dynamics, which were shown earlier to reproduce dynamical properties of galaxies and galaxy aggregates without having to assume the existence of hidden mass. The theory involves a modification of the Poisson equation and can be derived from a Lagrangian. The total momentum, angular momentum, and (properly defined) energy of an isolated system are conserved. The center-of-mass acceleration of an arbitrary bound system in a constant external gravitational field is independent of any property of the system. In other words, all isolated objects fall in exactly the same way in a constant external gravitational field (the weak equivalence principle is satisfied). However, the internal dynamics of a system in a constant external field is different from that of the same system in the absence of the external field, in violation of the strong principle of equivalence. These two results are consistent with the phenomenological requirements of the modified dynamics. A toy relativistic theory is sketched which has a nonrelativistic limit satisfying the requirements of the modified dynamics.

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