Scalar self-interactions loosen constraints from fifth force searches

Steven S. Gubser, Justin Khoury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The mass of a scalar field mediating a fifth force is tightly constrained by experiments. We show, however, that adding a quartic self-interaction for such a scalar makes most tests much less constraining: the nonlinear equation of motion masks the coupling of the scalar to matter through the chameleon mechanism. We discuss consequences for fifth force experiments. In particular, we find that, with quartic coupling of order unity, a gravitational strength interaction with matter is allowed by current constraints. We show that our chameleon scalar field results in experimental signatures that could be detected through modest improvements of current laboratory set-ups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104001
Pages (from-to)104001-1-104001-9
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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