Alternatives to general relativity are physical theories that attempt to describe the phenomena of gravitation in competition to Einstein's theory of general relativity.
There have been many different attempts at constructing an ideal theory of gravity. These attempts can be split into four broad categories:
This article deals only with straightforward alternatives to GR. For quantized gravity theories, see the article quantum gravity. For the unification of gravity and other forces, see the article classical unified field theories. For those theories that attempt to do several at once, see the article theory of everything.
Contents

Motivations 1

2 Notation in this article

Classification of theories 3

Early theories, 1686 to 1916 4

Theories from 1917 to the 1980s 5

Scalar field theories 5.1

Bimetric theories 5.2

Quasilinear theories 5.3

Tensor theories 5.4

Scalartensor theories 5.5

Vectortensor theories 5.6

Other metric theories 5.7

Nonmetric theories 5.8

Testing of alternatives to general relativity 6

Selfconsistency 6.1

Completeness 6.2

Classical tests 6.3

Agreement with Newtonian mechanics and special relativity 6.4

The Einstein equivalence principle (EEP) 6.5

Parametric postNewtonian (PPN) formalism 6.6

Strong gravity and gravitational waves 6.7

Cosmological tests 6.8

Results of testing theories 7

PPN parameters for a range of theories 7.1

Theories that fail other tests 7.2

Modern theories 1980s to present 8

Motivations 8.1

Cosmological constant and quintessence 8.2

Relativistic MOND 8.3

Moffat's theories 8.4

Footnotes 9

References 10
Motivations
Motivations for developing new theories of gravity have changed over the years, with the first one to explain planetary orbits (Newton) and more complicated orbits (e.g. Lagrange). Then came unsuccessful attempts to combine gravity and either wave or corpuscular theories of gravity. The whole landscape of physics was changed with the discovery of Lorentz transformations, and this led to attempts to reconcile it with gravity. At the same time, experimental physicists started testing the foundations of gravity and relativity – Lorentz invariance, the gravitational deflection of light, the Eötvös experiment. These considerations led to and past the development of general relativity.
After that, motivations differ. Two major concerns were the development of quantum theory and the discovery of the strong and weak nuclear forces. Attempts to quantize and unify gravity are outside the scope of this article, and so far none has been completely successful.
After general relativity (GR), attempts were made either to improve on theories developed before GR, or to improve GR itself. Many different strategies were attempted, for example the addition of spin to GR, combining a GRlike metric with a spacetime that is static with respect to the expansion of the universe, getting extra freedom by adding another parameter. At least one theory was motivated by the desire to develop an alternative to GR that is completely free from singularities.
Experimental tests improved along with the theories. Many of the different strategies that were developed soon after GR were abandoned, and there was a push to develop more general forms of the theories that survived, so that a theory would be ready the moment any test showed a disagreement with GR.
By the 1980s, the increasing accuracy of experimental tests had all led to confirmation of GR, no competitors were left except for those that included GR as a special case. Further, shortly after that, theorists switched to string theory which was starting to look promising, but has since lost popularity. In the mid1980s a few experiments were suggesting that gravity was being modified by the addition of a fifth force (or, in one case, of a fifth, sixth and seventh force) acting on the scale of meters. Subsequent experiments eliminated these.
Motivations for the more recent alternative theories are almost all cosmological, associated with or replacing such constructs as "inflation", "dark matter" and "dark energy". Investigation of the Pioneer anomaly has caused renewed public interest in alternatives to General Relativity.
Notation in this article
c\; is the speed of light, G\; is the gravitational constant. "Geometric variables" are not used.
Latin indexes go from 1 to 3, Greek indexes go from 1 to 4. The Einstein summation convention is used.
\eta_{\mu\nu}\; is the Minkowski metric. g_{\mu\nu}\; is a tensor, usually the metric tensor. These have signature (−,+,+,+).
Partial differentiation is written \partial_\mu \phi\; or \phi_{,\mu}\;. Covariant differentiation is written \nabla_\mu \phi\; or \phi_{;\mu}\;.
Classification of theories
Theories of gravity can be classified, loosely, into several categories. Most of the theories described here have:
If a theory has a Lagrangian density for gravity, say L\,, then the gravitational part of the action S\, is the integral of that.

S = \int L \sqrt{g} \, \mathrm{d}^4x
In this equation it is usual, though not essential, to have g = 1\, at spatial infinity when using Cartesian coordinates. For example the Einstein–Hilbert action uses

L\,\propto\, R
where R is the scalar curvature, a measure of the curvature of space.
Almost every theory described in this article has an action. It is the only known way to guarantee that the necessary conservation laws of energy, momentum and angular momentum are incorporated automatically; although it is easy to construct an action where those conservation laws are violated. The original 1983 version of MOND did not have an action.
A few theories have an action but not a Lagrangian density. A good example is Whitehead (1922), the action there is termed nonlocal.
A theory of gravity is a "metric theory" if and only if it can be given a mathematical representation in which two conditions hold:
Condition 1: There exists a symmetric metric tensor g_{\mu\nu}\, of signature (−, +, +, +), which governs properlength and propertime measurements in the usual manner of special and general relativity:

{d\tau}^2 =  g_{\mu \nu} \, dx^\mu \, dx^\nu \,
where there is a summation over indices \mu and \nu.
Condition 2: Stressed matter and fields being acted upon by gravity respond in accordance with the equation:

0 = \nabla_\nu T^{\mu \nu} = {T^{\mu \nu}}_{,\nu} + \Gamma^{\mu}_{\sigma \nu} T^{\sigma \nu} + \Gamma^{\nu}_{\sigma \nu} T^{\mu \sigma} \,
where T^{\mu \nu} \, is the stress–energy tensor for all matter and nongravitational fields, and where \nabla_{\nu} is the covariant derivative with respect to the metric and \Gamma^{\alpha}_{\sigma \nu} \, is the Christoffel symbol. The stress–energy tensor should also satisfy an energy condition.
Metric theories include (from simplest to most complex):

Scalar field theories (includes Conformally flat theories & Stratified theories with conformally flat space slices)

Quasilinear theories (includes Linear fixed gauge)

Tensor theories

Scalartensor theories

Vectortensor theories

Bimetric theories

Other metric theories
(see section Modern theories below)
Nonmetric theories include
A word here about Mach's principle is appropriate because a few of these theories rely on Mach's principle (e.g. Whitehead (1922)), and many mention it in passing (e.g. Einstein–Grossmann (1913), Brans–Dicke (1961)). Mach's principle can be thought of a halfwayhouse between Newton and Einstein. It goes this way:^{[1]}

Newton: Absolute space and time.

Mach: The reference frame comes from the distribution of matter in the universe.

Einstein: There is no reference frame.
So far, all the experimental evidence points to Mach's principle being wrong, but it has not entirely been ruled out.
Early theories, 1686 to 1916

Newton (1686)
In Newton's (1686) theory (rewritten using more modern mathematics) the density of mass \rho\, generates a scalar field, the gravitational potential \phi\, in joules per kilogram, by

{\partial^2 \phi \over \partial x^j \partial x^j} = 4 \pi G \rho \,.
Using the Nabla operator \nabla for the gradient and divergence (partial derivatives), this can be conveniently written as:

\nabla^2 \phi = 4 \pi G \rho \,.
This scalar field governs the motion of a freefalling particle by:

{ d^2x^j\over dt^2} = {\partial\phi\over\partial x^j\,}.
At distance, r, from an isolated mass, M, the scalar field is

\phi = GM/r \,.
The theory of Newton, and Lagrange's improvement on the calculation (applying the variational principle), completely fails to take into account relativistic effects of course, and so can be rejected as a viable theory of gravity. Even so, Newton's theory is thought to be exactly correct in the limit of weak gravitational fields and low speeds and all other theories of gravity need to reproduce Newton's theory in the appropriate limits.

Mechanical explanations (1650–1900)
To explain Newton's theory, some mechanical explanations of gravitation (incl. Le Sage's theory) were created between 1650 and 1900, but they were overthrown because most of them lead to an unacceptable amount of drag, which is not observed. Other models are violating the energy conservation law and are incompatible with modern thermodynamics.

Electrostatic models (1870–1900)
At the end of the 19th century, many tried to combine Newton's force law with the established laws of electrodynamics, like those of Weber, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Bernhard Riemann and James Clerk Maxwell. Those models were used to explain the perihelion advance of Mercury. In 1890, Lévy succeeded in doing so by combining the laws of Weber and Riemann, whereby the speed of gravity is equal to the speed of light in his theory. And in another attempt, Paul Gerber (1898) even succeeded in deriving the correct formula for the Perihelion shift (which was identical to that formula later used by Einstein). However, because the basic laws of Weber and others were wrong (for example, Weber's law was superseded by Maxwell's theory), those hypothesis were rejected.^{[2]} In 1900, Hendrik Lorentz tried to explain gravity on the basis of his Lorentz ether theory and the Maxwell equations. He assumed, like Ottaviano Fabrizio Mossotti and Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner, that the attraction of opposite charged particles is stronger than the repulsion of equal charged particles. The resulting net force is exactly what is known as universal gravitation, in which the speed of gravity is that of light. But Lorentz calculated that the value for the perihelion advance of Mercury was much too low.^{[3]}

Lorentzinvariant models (1905–1910)
Based on the principle of relativity, Henri Poincaré (1905, 1906), Hermann Minkowski (1908), and Arnold Sommerfeld (1910) tried to modify Newton's theory and to establish a Lorentz invariant gravitational law, in which the speed of gravity is that of light. However, like in Lorentz's model the value for the perihelion advance of Mercury was much too low.^{[4]}

Einstein (1908, 1912)
Einstein's two part publication in 1912 (and before in 1908) is really only important for historical reasons. By then he knew of the gravitational redshift and the deflection of light. He had realized that Lorentz transformations are not generally applicable, but retained them. The theory states that the speed of light is constant in free space but varies in the presence of matter. The theory was only expected to hold when the source of the gravitational field is stationary. It includes the principle of least action:

\delta \int d\tau = 0\,

{d\tau}^2 =  \eta_{\mu \nu} dx^\mu dx^\nu \,
where \eta_{\mu \nu} \, is the Minkowski metric, and there is a summation from 1 to 4 over indices \mu \, and \nu \,.
Einstein and Grossmann (1913) includes Riemannian geometry and tensor calculus.

\delta \int d\tau = 0 \,

{d\tau}^2 =  g_{\mu \nu} dx^\mu dx^\nu \,
The equations of electrodynamics exactly match those of GR. The equation

T^{\mu \nu} = \rho {dx^\mu \over d\tau} {dx^\nu \over d\tau} \,
is not in GR. It expresses the stress–energy tensor as a function of the matter density.

Abraham (1912)
While this was going on, Abraham was developing an alternative model of gravity in which the speed of light depends on the gravitational field strength and so is variable almost everywhere. Abraham's 1914 review of gravitation models is said to be excellent, but his own model was poor.

Nordström (1912)
The first approach of Nordström (1912) was to retain the Minkowski metric and a constant value of c\, but to let mass depend on the gravitational field strength \phi\,. Allowing this field strength to satisfy

\Box \phi = \rho \,
where \rho \, is rest mass energy and \Box \, is the d'Alembertian,

m = m_0 \exp(\phi / c^2) \,
and

 {\partial \phi \over \partial x^\mu} = \dot{u}_\mu + {u_\mu \over c^2 \dot{\phi}} \,
where u \, is the fourvelocity and the dot is a differential with respect to time.
The second approach of Nordström (1913) is remembered as the first logically consistent relativistic field theory of gravitation ever formulated. From (note, notation of Pais (1982) not Nordström):

\delta \int \psi d\tau = 0 \,

{d\tau}^2 =  \eta_{\mu \nu} dx^\mu dx^\nu \,
where \psi \, is a scalar field,

 {\partial T^{\mu \nu} \over \partial x^\nu} = T {1 \over \psi} {\partial \psi \over \partial x_\mu} \,
This theory is Lorentz invariant, satisfies the conservation laws, correctly reduces to the Newtonian limit and satisfies the weak equivalence principle.

Einstein and Fokker (1914)
This theory is Einstein's first treatment of gravitation in which general covariance is strictly obeyed. Writing:

\delta \int ds = 0 \,

{ds}^2 = g_{\mu \nu} dx^\mu dx^\nu \,

g_{\mu \nu} = \psi^2 \eta_{\mu \nu} \,
they relate EinsteinGrossmann (1913) to Nordström (1913). They also state:

T \, \propto \, R \,.
That is, the trace of the stress energy tensor is proportional to the curvature of space.

Einstein (1916, 1917)
This theory is what we now know of as General Relativity. Discarding the Minkowski metric entirely, Einstein gets:

\delta \int ds = 0 \,

{ds}^2 = g_{\mu \nu} dx^\mu dx^\nu \,

R_{\mu\nu} = \frac{8 \pi G}{c^4} \left( T_{\mu \nu}  \frac {1}{2} g_{\mu \nu}T \right) \,
which can also be written

T^{\mu\nu} = {c^4 \over 8 \pi G} \left( R^{\mu \nu}\frac {1}{2} g^{\mu \nu} R \right) \,.
Five days before Einstein presented the last equation above, Hilbert had submitted a paper containing an almost identical equation. See relativity priority dispute. Hilbert was the first to correctly state the Einstein–Hilbert action for GR, which is:

S = {c^4 \over 16 \pi G} \int R \sqrt{g} d^4 x + S_m \,
where G \, is Newton's gravitational constant, R = R_{\mu \mu} \, is the Ricci curvature of space, g = \det ( g_{\mu \nu} ) \, and S_m \, is the action due to mass.
GR is a tensor theory, the equations all contain tensors. Nordström's theories, on the other hand, are scalar theories because the gravitational field is a scalar. Later in this article you will see scalartensor theories that contain a scalar field in addition to the tensors of GR, and other variants containing vector fields as well have been developed recently.
Theories from 1917 to the 1980s
This section includes alternatives to GR published after GR but before the observations of galaxy rotation that led to the hypothesis of "dark matter".
Those considered here include (see Will (1981),^{[5]} Lang (2002)^{[6]}):
Listed by date (the hyperlinks take you further down this article)
Whitehead (1922), Cartan (1922, 1923), Fierz & Pauli (1939), Birkhov (1943), Milne (1948), Thiry (1948), Papapetrou (1954a, 1954b), Littlewood (1953), Jordan (1955), Bergman (1956), Belinfante & Swihart (1957), Yilmaz (1958, 1973), Brans & Dicke (1961), Whitrow & Morduch (1960, 1965), Kustaanheimo (1966), Kustaanheimo & Nuotio (1967), Deser & Laurent (1968), Page & Tupper (1968), Bergmann (1968), BolliniGiambiagiTiomno (1970), Nordtveldt (1970), Wagoner (1970), Rosen (1971, 1975, 1975), WeiTou Ni (1972, 1973), Will & Nordtveldt (1972), Hellings & Nordtveldt (1973), Lightman & Lee (1973), Lee, Lightman & Ni (1974), Bekenstein (1977), Barker (1978), Rastall (1979)
These theories are presented here without a cosmological constant or added scalar or vector potential unless specifically noted, for the simple reason that the need for one or both of these was not recognised before the supernova observations by the Supernova Cosmology Project and HighZ Supernova Search Team. How to add a cosmological constant or quintessence to a theory is discussed under Modern Theories (see also here).
Scalar field theories
The scalar field theories of Nordström (1912, 1913) have already been discussed. Those of Littlewood (1953), Bergman (1956), Yilmaz (1958), Whitrow and Morduch (1960, 1965) and Page and Tupper (1968) follow the general formula give by Page and Tupper.
According to Page and Tupper (1968), who discuss all these except Nordström (1913), the general scalar field theory comes from the principle of least action:
\delta\int f(\phi/c^2)ds=0\,
where the scalar field is,
\phi=GM/r\,
and c\, may or may not depend on \phi\,.
In Nordström (1912),

f(\phi/c^2)=\exp(\phi/c^2)\, ; c=c_\infty\,
In Littlewood (1953) and Bergmann (1956),

f(\phi/c^2)=\exp(\phi/c^2(\phi/c^2)^2/2)\, ; c=c_\infty\,
In Whitrow and Morduch (1960),

f(\phi/c^2)=1\, ; c^2=c_\infty^22\phi\,
In Whitrow and Morduch (1965),

f(\phi/c^2)=\exp(\phi/c^2)\, ; c^2=c_\infty^22\phi\,
In Page and Tupper (1968),

f(\phi/c^2)=\phi/c^2+\alpha(\phi/c^2)^2\, ; c_\infty^2/c^2=1+4(\phi/c_\infty^2)+(15+2\alpha)(\phi/c_\infty^2)^2\,
Page and Tupper (1968) matches Yilmaz (1958) (see also Yilmaz theory of gravitation) to second order when \alpha=7/2\,.
The gravitational deflection of light has to be zero when c is constant. Given that variable c and zero deflection of light are both in conflict with experiment, the prospect for a successful scalar theory of gravity looks very unlikely. Further, if the parameters of a scalar theory are adjusted so that the deflection of light is correct then the gravitational redshift is likely to be wrong.
Ni (1972) summarised some theories and also created two more. In the first, a preexisting special relativity spacetime and universal time coordinate acts with matter and nongravitational fields to generate a scalar field. This scalar field acts together with all the rest to generate the metric.
The action is:

S={1\over 16\pi G}\int d^4 x \sqrt{g}L_\phi+S_m\,

L_\phi=\phi R2g^{\mu\nu}\partial_\mu\phi\partial_\nu\phi\,
Misner et al. (1973) gives this without the \phi R\, term. S_m\, is the matter action.

\Box\phi=4\pi T^{\mu\nu}[\eta_{\mu\nu}e^{2\phi}+(e^{2\phi}+e^{2\phi})\partial_\mu t\partial_\nu t]\,
t\, is the universal time coordinate. This theory is selfconsistent and complete. But the motion of the solar system through the universe leads to serious disagreement with experiment.
In the second theory of Ni (1972) there are two arbitrary functions f(\phi)\, and k(\phi)\, that are related to the metric by:

ds^2=e^{2f(\phi)}dt^2e^{2f(\phi)}[dx^2+dy^2+dz^2]\,

\eta^{\mu\nu}\partial_\mu\partial_\nu\phi=4\pi\rho^*k(\phi)\,
Ni (1972) quotes Rosen (1971) as having two scalar fields \phi\, and \psi\, that are related to the metric by:

ds^2=\phi^2dt^2\psi^2[dx^2+dy^2+dz^2]\,
In Papapetrou (1954a) the gravitational part of the Lagrangian is:

L_\phi=e^\phi(\textstyle\frac{1}{2}e^{\phi}\partial_\alpha\phi\partial_\alpha\phi +\textstyle\frac{3}{2}e^{\phi}\partial_0\phi\partial_0\phi)\,
In Papapetrou (1954b) there is a second scalar field \chi\,. The gravitational part of the Lagrangian is now:

L_\phi=e^{(3\phi+\chi)/2}(\textstyle\frac{1}{2} e^{\phi}\partial_\alpha \phi \partial_\alpha \phi e^{\phi}\partial_\alpha\phi\partial_\chi\phi + \textstyle\frac{3}{2} e^{\chi} \partial_0 \phi\partial_0\phi)\,
Bimetric theories
Bimetric theories contain both the normal tensor metric and the Minkowski metric (or a metric of constant curvature), and may contain other scalar or vector fields.
Rosen (1973, 1975) Bimetric Theory The action is:

S={1\over 64\pi G}\int d^4 x\sqrt{\eta}\eta^{\mu\nu}g^{\alpha\beta}g^{\gamma\delta} (g_{\alpha\gamma \mu}g_{\alpha\delta \nu} \textstyle\frac{1}{2}g_{\alpha\beta \mu}g_{\gamma\delta \nu})+S_m
where the vertical line "" denotes covariant derivative with respect to \eta\,. The field equations may be written in the form:

\Box_\eta g_{\mu\nu}g^{\alpha\beta}\eta^{\gamma\delta}g_{\mu\alpha \gamma}g_{\nu\beta \delta}=16\pi G\sqrt{g/\eta}(T_{\mu\nu}\textstyle\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu\nu} T)\,
LightmanLee (1973) developed a metric theory based on the nonmetric theory of Belinfante and Swihart (1957a, 1957b). The result is known as BSLL theory. Given a tensor field B_{\mu\nu}\,, B=B_{\mu\nu}\eta^{\mu\nu}\,, and two constants a\, and f\, the action is:

S={1\over 16\pi G}\int d^4 x\sqrt{\eta}(aB^{\mu\nu\alpha}B_{\mu\nu\alpha} +fB_{,\alpha}B^{,\alpha})+S_m
and the stress–energy tensor comes from:

a\Box_\eta B^{\mu\nu}+f\eta^{\mu\nu}\Box_\eta B=4\pi G\sqrt{g/\eta}T^{\alpha\beta} (\partial g_{\alpha\beta}/\partial B_\mu\nu)
In Rastall (1979), the metric is an algebraic function of the Minkowski metric and a Vector field.^{[5]} The Action is:

S={1\over 16\pi G}\int d^4 x \sqrt{g} F(N)K^{\mu;\nu}K_{\mu;\nu}+S_m
where

F(N)=N/(2+N)\; and N=g^{\mu\nu}K_\mu K_\nu\;
(see Will (1981) for the field equation for T^{\mu\nu}\; and K_\mu\;).
Quasilinear theories
In Whitehead (1922), the physical metric g\; is constructed (by Synge) algebraically from the Minkowski metric \eta\; and matter variables, so it doesn't even have a scalar field. The construction is:

g_{\mu\nu}(x^\alpha)=\eta_{\mu\nu}2\int_{\Sigma^}{y_\mu^ y_\nu^\over(w^)^3} [\sqrt{g}\rho u^\alpha d\Sigma_\alpha]^
where the superscript () indicates quantities evaluated along the past \eta\; light cone of the field point x^\alpha\; and

(y^\mu)^=x^\mu(x^\mu)^\;, (y^\mu)^(y_\mu)^=0,\;

w^=(y^\mu)^(u_\mu)^\;, (u_\mu)=dx^\mu/d\sigma,\;

d\sigma^2=\eta_{\mu\nu}dx^\mu dx^\nu\;
Nevertheless the metric construction (from a nonmetric theory) using the "length contraction" ansatz^{[7]} is criticised.^{[8]}
Deser and Laurent (1968) and BolliniGiambiagiTiomno (1970) are Linear Fixed Gauge (LFG) theories. Taking an approach from quantum field theory, combine a Minkowski spacetime with the gauge invariant action of a spintwo tensor field (i.e. graviton) h_{\mu\nu}\; to define

g_{\mu\nu} = \eta_{\mu\nu}+h_{\mu\nu}\;
The action is:

S={1\over 16\pi G} \int d^4 x\sqrt{\eta}[2h_{\nu}^{\mu\nu}h_{\mu\lambda}^{\lambda} 2h_{\nu}^{\mu\nu}h_{\lambda\mu}^{\lambda}+h_{\nu\mu}^\nu h_\lambda^{\lambda\mu} h^{\mu\nu\lambda}h_{\mu\nu\lambda}]+S_m\;
The Bianchi identity associated with this partial gauge invariance is wrong. LFG theories seek to remedy this by breaking the gauge invariance of the gravitational action through the introduction of auxiliary gravitational fields that couple to h_{\mu\nu}\;.
A cosmological constant can be introduced into a quasilinear theory by the simple expedient of changing the Minkowski background to a de Sitter or antide Sitter spacetime, as suggested by G. Temple in 1923. Temple's suggestions on how to do this were criticized by C. B. Rayner in 1955.^{[9]}
Tensor theories
Einstein's general relativity is the simplest plausible theory of gravity that can be based on just one symmetric tensor field (the metric tensor). Others include: Gauss–Bonnet gravity, f(R) gravity, and Lovelock theory of gravity.
Scalartensor theories
These all contain at least one free parameter, as opposed to GR which has no free parameters.
Although not normally considered a ScalarTensor theory of gravity, the 5 by 5 metric of Kaluza–Klein reduces to a 4 by 4 metric and a single scalar. So if the 5th element is treated as a scalar gravitational field instead of an electromagnetic field then Kaluza–Klein can be considered the progenitor of ScalarTensor theories of gravity. This was recognised by Thiry (1948).
ScalarTensor theories include Thiry (1948), Jordan (1955), Brans and Dicke (1961), Bergman (1968), Nordtveldt (1970), Wagoner (1970), Bekenstein (1977) and Barker (1978).
The action S\; is based on the integral of the Lagrangian L_\phi\;.

S={1\over 16\pi G}\int d^4 x\sqrt{g}L_\phi+S_m\;
L_\phi=\phi R{\omega(\phi)\over\phi} g^{\mu\nu}\partial_\mu\phi\partial_\nu\phi+2\phi\lambda(\phi)\;

S_m=\int d^4 x\sqrt{g}G_N L_m\;

T^{\mu\nu}\ \stackrel{\mathrm{def}}{=}\ {2\over\sqrt{g}}{\delta S_m\over\delta g_{\mu\nu}}
where \omega(\phi)\; is a different dimensionless function for each different scalartensor theory. The function \lambda(\phi)\; plays the same role as the cosmological constant in GR. G_N\; is a dimensionless normalization constant that fixes the presentday value of G\;. An arbitrary potential can be added for the scalar.
The full version is retained in Bergman (1968) and Wagoner (1970). Special cases are:
Nordtvedt (1970), \lambda=0\;
Since \lambda was thought to be zero at the time anyway, this would not have been considered a significant difference. The role of the cosmological constant in more modern work is discussed under Cosmological constant.
Brans–Dicke (1961), \omega\; is constant
Bekenstein (1977) Variable Mass Theory Starting with parameters r\; and q\;, found from a cosmological solution, \phi=[1qf(\phi)]f(\phi)^{r}\; determines function f\; then

\omega(\phi)=\textstyle\frac{3}{2}\textstyle\frac{1}{4}f(\phi)[(16q)qf(\phi)1] [r+(1r)qf(\phi)]^{2}\;
Barker (1978) Constant G Theory

\omega(\phi)=(43\phi)/(2\phi2)\;
Adjustment of \omega(\phi)\; allows Scalar Tensor Theories to tend to GR in the limit of \omega\rightarrow\infty\; in the current epoch. However, there could be significant differences from GR in the early universe.
So long as GR is confirmed by experiment, general ScalarTensor theories (including Brans–Dicke) can never be ruled out entirely, but as experiments continue to confirm GR more precisely and the parameters have to be finetuned so that the predictions more closely match those of GR.
Vectortensor theories
Before we start, Will (2001) has said: "Many alternative metric theories developed during the 1970s and 1980s could be viewed as "strawman" theories, invented to prove that such theories exist or to illustrate particular properties. Few of these could be regarded as wellmotivated theories from the point of view, say, of field theory or particle physics. Examples are the vectortensor theories studied by Will, Nordtvedt and Hellings."
Hellings and Nordtvedt (1973) and Will and Nordtvedt (1972) are both vectortensor theories. In addition to the metric tensor there is a timelike vector field K_\mu\;. The gravitational action is:

S={1\over 16\pi G}\int d^4 x\sqrt{g}[R+\omega K_\mu K^\mu R+\eta K^\mu K^\nu R_{\mu\nu}\epsilon F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}+\tau K_{\mu;\nu}K^{\mu;\nu}]+S_m\;
where \omega\;, \eta\;, \epsilon\; and \tau\; are constants and

F_{\mu\nu}=K_{\nu;\mu}K_{\mu;\nu}\;
See Will (1981) for the field equations for T^{\mu\nu}\; and K_\mu\;.
Will and Nordtvedt (1972) is a special case where

\omega=\eta=\epsilon=0\; ; \tau=1\;
Hellings and Nordtvedt (1973) is a special case where

\tau=0\; ; \epsilon=1\; ; \eta=2\omega\;
These vectortensor theories are semiconservative, which means that they satisfy the laws of conservation of momentum and angular momentum but can have preferred frame effects. When \omega=\eta=\epsilon=\tau=0\; they reduce to GR so, so long as GR is confirmed by experiment, general vectortensor theories can never be ruled out.
Other metric theories
Others metric theories have been proposed; that of Bekenstein (2004) is discussed under Modern Theories.
Nonmetric theories
Cartan's theory is particularly interesting both because it is a nonmetric theory and because it is so old. The status of Cartan's theory is uncertain. Will (1981) claims that all nonmetric theories are eliminated by Einstein's Equivalence Principle (EEP). Will (2001) tempers that by explaining experimental criteria for testing nonmetric theories against EEP. Misner et al. (1973) claims that Cartan's theory is the only nonmetric theory to survive all experimental tests up to that date and Turyshev (2006) lists Cartan's theory among the few that have survived all experimental tests up to that date. The following is a quick sketch of Cartan's theory as restated by Trautman (1972).
Cartan (1922, 1923) suggested a simple generalization of Einstein's theory of gravitation. He proposed a model of space time with a metric tensor and a linear "connection" compatible with the metric but not necessarily symmetric. The torsion tensor of the connection is related to the density of intrinsic angular momentum. Independently of Cartan, similar ideas were put forward by Sciama, by Kibble in the years 1958 to 1966, culminating in a 1976 review by Hehl et al.
The original description is in terms of differential forms, but for the present article that is replaced by the more familiar language of tensors (risking loss of accuracy). As in GR, the Lagrangian is made up of a massless and a mass part. The Lagrangian for the massless part is:

L={1\over 32\pi G}\Omega_\nu^\mu g^{\nu\xi}x^\eta x^\zeta\eta_{\xi\mu\eta\zeta}\;

\Omega_\nu^\mu=d \omega^\mu_\nu+\omega^\eta_\xi\;

\nabla x^\mu=\omega^\mu_\nu x^\nu\;
The \omega^\mu_\nu\; is the linear connection. \eta_{\xi\mu\eta\zeta}\; is the completely antisymmetric pseudotensor (LeviCivita symbol) with \eta_{1234}=\sqrt{g}\;, and g^{\nu\xi}\, is the metric tensor as usual. By assuming that the linear connection is metric, it is possible to remove the unwanted freedom inherent in the nonmetric theory. The stress–energy tensor is calculated from:

T^{\mu\nu}={1\over 16\pi G} (g^{\mu\nu}\eta^\xi_\etag^{\xi\nu}\eta^\nu_\etag^{\xi\nu}\eta^\mu_\eta)\Omega^\eta_\xi\;
The space curvature is not Riemannian, but on a Riemannian spacetime the Lagrangian would reduce to the Lagrangian of GR.
Some equations of the nonmetric theory of Belinfante and Swihart (1957a, 1957b) have already been discussed in the section on bimetric theories.
A distinctively nonmetric theory is given by gauge theory gravity, which replaces the metric in its field equations with a pair of gauge fields in flat spacetime. On the one hand, the theory is quite conservative because it is substantially equivalent to Einstein–Cartan theory (or general relativity in the limit of vanishing spin), differing mostly in the nature of its global solutions. On the other hand, it is radical because it replaces differential geometry with geometric algebra.
Testing of alternatives to general relativity
Any putative alternative to general relativity would need to meet a variety of tests for it to become accepted. For indepth coverage of these tests, see Misner et al. (1973) Ch.39, Will (1981) Table 2.1, and Ni (1972). Most such tests can be categorized as in the following subsections.
Selfconsistency
Selfconsistency among nonmetric theories includes eliminating theories allowing tachyons, ghost poles and higher order poles, and those that have problems with behaviour at infinity.
Among metric theories, selfconsistency is best illustrated by describing several theories that fail this test. The classic example is the spintwo field theory of Fierz and Pauli (1939); the field equations imply that gravitating bodies move in straight lines, whereas the equations of motion insist that gravity deflects bodies away from straight line motion. Yilmaz (1971, 1973) contains a tensor gravitational field used to construct a metric; it is mathematically inconsistent because the functional dependence of the metric on the tensor field is not well defined.
Completeness
To be complete, a theory of gravity must be capable of analysing the outcome of every experiment of interest. It must therefore mesh with electromagnetism and all other physics. For instance, any theory that cannot predict from first principles the movement of planets or the behaviour of atomic clocks is incomplete.
Many early theories are incomplete in that it is unclear whether the density \rho used by the theory should be calculated from the stress–energy tensor T as \rho=T_{\mu\nu}u^\mu u^\nu or as \rho=T_{\mu\nu}\delta^{\mu \nu}, where u is the fourvelocity, and \delta is the Kronecker delta.
The theories of Thirry (1948) and Jordan (1955) are incomplete unless Jordan's parameter \eta\; is set to 1, in which case they match the theory of Brans–Dicke (1961) and so are worthy of further consideration.
Milne (1948) is incomplete because it makes no gravitational redshift prediction.
The theories of Whitrow and Morduch (1960, 1965), Kustaanheimo (1966) and Kustaanheimo and Nuotio (1967) are either incomplete or inconsistent. The incorporation of Maxwell's equations is incomplete unless it is assumed that they are imposed on the flat background spacetime, and when that is done they are inconsistent, because they predict zero gravitational redshift when the wave version of light (Maxwell theory) is used, and nonzero redshift when the particle version (photon) is used. Another more obvious example is Newtonian gravity with Maxwell's equations; light as photons is deflected by gravitational fields (by twice that of GR) but light as waves is not.
Classical tests
There are three "classical" tests (dating back to the 1910s or earlier) of the ability of gravity theories to handle relativistic effects; they are:
Each theory should reproduce the observed results in these areas, which have to date always aligned with the predictions of general relativity.
In 1964, Irwin I. Shapiro found a fourth test, called the Shapiro delay. It is usually regarded as a "classical" test as well.
Agreement with Newtonian mechanics and special relativity
As an example of disagreement with Newtonian experiments, Birkhoff (1943) theory predicts relativistic effects fairly reliably but demands that sound waves travel at the speed of light. In fairness to Birkhoff, it must be pointed out that this was the consequence of an assumption made to simplify handling the collision of masses. He expected to present a more refined version of his theory but made the curious career decision of dying from heart failure in 1944.
A modern example of the lack of a relativistic component is MOND by Milgrom, as will be discussed below.
The Einstein equivalence principle (EEP)
The EEP has three components.
The first is the uniqueness of free fall, also known as the Weak Equivalence Principle (WEP). This is satisfied if inertial mass is equal to gravitational mass. η is a parameter used to test the maximum allowable violation of the WEP. The first tests of the WEP were done by Eötvös before 1900 and limited η to less than 5×10^{−9}. Modern tests have reduced that to less than 5×10^{−13}.
The second is Lorentz invariance. In the absence of gravitational effects the speed of light is constant. The test parameter for this is δ. The first tests of Lorentz invariance were done by Michelson and Morley before 1890 and limited δ to less than 5×10^{−3}. Modern tests have reduced this to less than 1×10^{−21}.
The third is local position invariance, which includes spatial and temporal invariance. The outcome of any local nongravitational experiment is independent of where and when it is performed. Spatial local position invariance is tested using gravitational redshift measurements. The test parameter for this is α. Upper limits on this found by Pound and Rebka in 1960 limited α to less than 0.1. Modern tests have reduced this to less than 1×10^{−4}.
Schiff's conjecture states that any complete, selfconsistent theory of gravity that embodies the WEP necessarily embodies EEP. This is likely to be true if the theory has full energy conservation.
Metric theories satisfy the Einstein Equivalence Principle. Extremely few nonmetric theories satisfy this. For example, the nonmetric theory of Belinfante & Swihart (1957) is eliminated by the THεμ formalism for testing EEP. Gauge theory gravity is a notable exception, where the strong equivalence principle is essentially the minimal coupling of the gauge covariant derivative.
Parametric postNewtonian (PPN) formalism
See also Tests of general relativity, Misner et al. (1973) and Will (1981) for more information.
Work on developing a standardized rather than adhoc set of tests for evaluating alternative gravitation models began with Eddington in 1922 and resulted in a standard set of PPN numbers in Nordtvedt and Will (1972) and Will and Nordtvedt (1972). Each parameter measures a different aspect of how much a theory departs from Newtonian gravity. Because we are talking about deviation from Newtonian theory here, these only measure weakfield effects. The effects of strong gravitational fields are examined later.
These ten are called : \gamma\;, \beta\;, \eta\;, \alpha_1\;, \alpha_2\;, \alpha_3\;, \zeta_1\;, \zeta_2\;, \zeta_3\;, \zeta_4\;
\gamma\; is a measure of space curvature, being zero for Newtonian gravity and one for GR.
\beta\; is a measure of nonlinearity in the addition of gravitational fields, one for GR.
\eta\; is a check for preferred location effects.
\alpha_1\;, \alpha_2\;, \alpha_3\; measure the extent and nature of "preferredframe effects". Any theory of gravity with at least one \alpha nonzero is called a preferredframe theory.
\zeta_1\;, \zeta_2\;, \zeta_3\;, \zeta_4\;, \alpha_3\; measure the extent and nature of breakdowns in global conservation laws. A theory of gravity possesses 4 conservation laws for energymomentum and 6 for angular momentum only if all five are zero.
Strong gravity and gravitational waves
PPN is only a measure of weak field effects. Strong gravity effects can be seen in compact objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. Experimental tests such as the stability of white dwarfs, spindown rate of pulsars, orbits of binary pulsars and the existence of a black hole horizon can be used as tests of alternative to GR.
GR predicts that gravitational waves travel at the speed of light. Many alternatives to GR say that gravitational waves travel faster than light. If true, this could result in failure of causality.
Cosmological tests
Many of these have been developed recently. For those theories that aim to replace dark matter, the galaxy rotation curve, the TullyFisher relation, the faster rotation rate of dwarf galaxies, and the gravitational lensing due to galactic clusters act as constraints.
For those theories that aim to replace inflation, the size of ripples in the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background radiation is the strictest test.
For those theories that incorporate or aim to replace dark energy, the supernova brightness results and the age of the universe can be used as tests.
Another test is the flatness of the universe. With GR, the combination of baryonic matter, dark matter and dark energy add up to make the universe exactly flat. As the accuracy of experimental tests improve, alternatives to GR that aim to replace dark matter or dark energy will have to explain why.
Results of testing theories
PPN parameters for a range of theories
(See Will (1981) and Ni (1972) for more details. Misner et al. (1973) gives a table for translating parameters from the notation of Ni to that of Will)
General Relativity is now more than 90 years old, during which one alternative theory of gravity after another has failed to agree with ever more accurate observations. One illustrative example is Parameterized postNewtonian formalism (PPN).
The following table lists PPN values for a large number of theories. If the value in a cell matches that in the column heading then the full formula is too complicated to include here.

\gamma

\beta

\xi

\alpha_1

\alpha_2

\alpha_3

\zeta_1

\zeta_2

\zeta_3

\zeta_4

Einstein (1916) GR

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ScalarTensor theories

Bergmann (1968), Wagoner (1970)

\textstyle\frac{1+\omega}{2+\omega}

\beta

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nordtvedt (1970), Bekenstein (1977)

\textstyle\frac{1+\omega}{2+\omega}

\beta

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Brans–Dicke (1961)

\textstyle\frac{1+\omega}{2+\omega}

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

VectorTensor theories

\gamma

\beta

0

\alpha_1

\alpha_2

0

0

0

0

0

HellingsNordtvedt (1973)

\gamma

\beta

0

\alpha_1

\alpha_2

0

0

0

0

0

WillNordtvedt (1972)

1

1

0

0

\alpha_2

0

0

0

0

0

Bimetric theories

Rosen (1975)

1

1

0

0

c_0/c_11

0

0

0

0

0

Rastall (1979)

1

1

0

0

\alpha_2

0

0

0

0

0

LightmanLee (1973)

\gamma

\beta

0

\alpha_1

\alpha_2

0

0

0

0

0

Stratified theories

LeeLightmanNi (1974)

ac_0/c_1

\beta

\xi

\alpha_1

\alpha_2

0

0

0

0

0

Ni (1973)

ac_0/c_1

bc_0

0

\alpha_1

\alpha_2

0

0

0

0

0

Scalar Field theories

Einstein (1912) {Not GR}

0

0


4

0

2

0

1

0

0†

WhitrowMorduch (1965)

0

1


4

0

0

0

3

0

0†

Rosen (1971)

\lambda

\textstyle\frac{3}{4}+\textstyle\frac{\lambda}{4}


44\lambda

0

4

0

1

0

0

Papetrou (1954a, 1954b)

1

1


8

4

0

0

2

0

0

Ni (1972) (stratified)

1

1


8

0

0

0

2

0

0

Yilmaz (1958, 1962)

1

1


8

0

4

0

2

0

1†

PageTupper (1968)

\gamma

\beta


44\gamma

0

22\gamma

0

\zeta_2

0

\zeta_{ 4}

Nordström (1912)

1

\textstyle\frac12


0

0

0

0

0

0

0†

Nordström (1913), EinsteinFokker (1914)

1

\textstyle\frac12


0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Ni (1972) (flat)

1

1q


0

0

0

0

\zeta_2

0

0†

WhitrowMorduch (1960)

1

1q


0

0

0

0

q

0

0†

Littlewood (1953), Bergman(1956)

1

\textstyle\frac12


0

0

0

0

1

0

0†

† The theory is incomplete, and \zeta_{ 4} can take one of two values. The value closest to zero is listed.
All experimental tests agree with GR so far, and so PPN analysis immediately eliminates all the scalar field theories in the table.
A full list of PPN parameters is not available for Whitehead (1922), DeserLaurent (1968), BolliniGiambiagiTiomino (1970), but in these three cases \beta=\xi, which is in strong conflict with GR and experimental results. In particular, these theories predict incorrect amplitudes for the Earth's tides. (A minor modification of Whitehead's theory avoids this problem. However, the modification predicts the Nordtvedt effect, which has been experimentally constrained.)
Theories that fail other tests
The stratified theories of Ni (1973), Lee Lightman and Ni (1974) are nonstarters because they all fail to explain the perihelion advance of Mercury.
The bimetric theories of Lightman and Lee (1973), Rosen (1975), Rastall (1979) all fail some of the tests associated with strong gravitational fields.
The scalartensor theories include GR as a special case, but only agree with the PPN values of GR when they are equal to GR to within experimental error. As experimental tests get more accurate, the deviation of the scalartensor theories from GR is being squashed to zero.
The same is true of vectortensor theories, the deviation of the vectortensor theories from GR is being squashed to zero. Further, vectortensor theories are semiconservative; they have a nonzero value for \alpha_2 which can have a measurable effect on the Earth's tides.
Nonmetric theories, such as Belinfante and Swihart (1957a, 1957b), usually fail to agree with experimental tests of Einstein's equivalence principle.
And that leaves, as a likely valid alternative to GR, nothing except possibly Cartan (1922).
That was the situation until cosmological discoveries pushed the development of modern alternatives.
Modern theories 1980s to present
This section includes alternatives to GR published after the observations of galaxy rotation that led to the hypothesis of "dark matter".
There is no known reliable list of comparison of these theories.
Those considered here include: Beckenstein (2004), Moffat (1995), Moffat (2002), Moffat (2005a, b).
These theories are presented with a cosmological constant or added scalar or vector potential.
Motivations
Motivations for the more recent alternatives to GR are almost all cosmological, associated with or replacing such constructs as "inflation", "dark matter" and "dark energy". The basic idea is that gravity agrees with GR at the present epoch but may have been quite different in the early universe.
There was a slow dawning realisation in the physics world that there were several problems inherent in the then big bang scenario, two of these were the horizon problem and the observation that at early times when quarks were first forming there was not enough space on the universe to contain even one quark. Inflation theory was developed to overcome these. Another alternative was constructing an alternative to GR in which the speed of light was larger in the early universe.
The discovery of unexpected rotation curves for galaxies took everyone by surprise. Could there be more mass in the universe than we are aware of, or is the theory of gravity itself wrong? The consensus now is that the missing mass is "cold dark matter", but that consensus was only reached after trying alternatives to general relativity and some physicists still believe that alternative models of gravity might hold the answer.
The discovery of the accelerated expansion of the universe by the supernova surveys led to the rapid reinstatement of Einstein's cosmological constant, and quintessence arrived as an alternative to the cosmological constant. At least one new alternative to GR attempted to explain the supernova surveys' results in a completely different way.
Another observation that sparked recent interest in alternatives to General Relativity is the Pioneer anomaly. It was quickly discovered that alternatives to GR could explain this anomaly. This is now believed to be accounted for by nonuniform thermal radiation.
Cosmological constant and quintessence
(also see Cosmological constant, Einstein–Hilbert action, Quintessence (physics))
The cosmological constant \Lambda\; is a very old idea, going back to Einstein in 1917. The success of the Friedmann model of the universe in which \Lambda=0\; led to the general acceptance that it is zero, but the use of a nonzero value came back with a vengeance when data from supernovae indicated that the expansion of the universe is accelerating
First, let's see how it influences the equations of Newtonian gravity and General Relativity.
In Newtonian gravity, the addition of the cosmological constant changes the NewtonPoisson equation from:

\nabla^2\phi=4\pi\rho\;
to

\nabla^2\phi\Lambda\phi=4\pi\rho\;
In GR, it changes the Einstein–Hilbert action from

S={1\over 16\pi G}\int R\sqrt{g} \, d^4x \, +S_m\;
to

S={1\over 16\pi G}\int (R2\Lambda)\sqrt{g}\,d^4x \, +S_m\;
which changes the field equation

T^{\mu\nu}={1\over 8\pi G} \left(R^{\mu\nu}\frac {1}{2} g^{\mu\nu} R \right)\;
to

T^{\mu\nu}={1\over 8\pi G}\left(R^{\mu\nu}\frac {1}{2} g^{\mu\nu} R + g^{\mu\nu} \Lambda \right)\;
In alternative theories of gravity, a cosmological constant can be added to the action in exactly the same way.
The cosmological constant is not the only way to get an accelerated expansion of the universe in alternatives to GR. We've already seen how the scalar potential \lambda(\phi)\; can be added to scalar tensor theories. This can also be done in every alternative the GR that contains a scalar field \phi\; by adding the term \lambda(\phi)\; inside the Lagrangian for the gravitational part of the action, the L_\phi\; part of

S={1\over 16\pi G}\int d^4x \, \sqrt{g}L_\phi+S_m\;
Because \lambda(\phi)\; is an arbitrary function of the scalar field, it can be set to give an acceleration that is large in the early universe and small at the present epoch. This is known as quintessence.
A similar method can be used in alternatives to GR that use vector fields, including Rastall (1979) and vectortensor theories. A term proportional to

K^\mu K^\nu g_{\mu\nu}\;
is added to the Lagrangian for the gravitational part of the action.
Relativistic MOND
(see Modified Newtonian dynamics, Tensorvectorscalar gravity, and Bekenstein (2004) for more details).
The original theory of MOND by Milgrom was developed in 1983 as an alternative to "dark matter". Departures from Newton's law of gravitation are governed by an acceleration scale, not a distance scale. MOND successfully explains the TullyFisher observation that the luminosity of a galaxy should scale as the fourth power of the rotation speed. It also explains why the rotation discrepancy in dwarf galaxies is particularly large.
There were several problems with MOND in the beginning. i. It did not include relativistic effects ii. It violated the conservation of energy, momentum and angular momentum iii. It was inconsistent in that it gives different galactic orbits for gas and for stars iv. It did not state how to calculate gravitational lensing from galaxy clusters.
By 1984, problems ii. and iii. had been solved by introducing a Lagrangian (AQUAL). A relativistic version of this based on scalartensor theory was rejected because it allowed waves in the scalar field to propagate faster than light. The Lagrangian of the nonrelativistic form is:

L={a_0^2\over 8\pi G}f\left\lbrack{\nabla\phi^2\over a_0^2}\right\rbrack\rho\phi\;
The relativistic version of this has:

L={a_0^2\over 8\pi G}\tilde f(l_0^2 g^{\mu\nu}\,\partial_\mu\phi\, \partial_\nu\phi)\;
with a nonstandard mass action. Here f\; and \tilde f are arbitrary functions selected to give Newtonian and MOND behaviour in the correct limits, and l_0 = c^2/a_0\; is the MOND length scale.
By 1988, a second scalar field (PCC) fixed problems with the earlier scalartensor version but is in conflict with the perihelion precession of Mercury and gravitational lensing by galaxies and clusters.
By 1997, MOND had been successfully incorporated in a stratified relativistic theory [Sanders], but as this is a preferred frame theory it has problems of its own.
Bekenstein (2004) introduced a tensorvectorscalar model (TeVeS). This has two scalar fields \phi\; and \sigma\; and vector field U_\alpha\;. The action is split into parts for gravity, scalars, vector and mass.

S=S_g+S_s+S_v+S_m\;
The gravity part is the same as in GR.

S_s=\textstyle\frac12\int[\sigma^2 h^{\alpha\beta}\phi_{,\alpha}\phi_{,\beta} +\textstyle\frac12G l_0^{2}\sigma^4F(kG\sigma^2)]\sqrt{g}\,d^4x\;

S_v={K\over 32\pi G}\int[g^{\alpha\beta}g^{\mu\nu}U_U_ 2(\lambda/K)(g^{\mu\nu} U_\mu U_\nu+1)]\sqrt{g}\,d^4x\;

S_m=\int L(\tilde g_{\mu\nu},f^\alpha,f^\alpha_{\mu},\ldots)\sqrt{g}\,d^4x\;
where h^{\alpha\beta}\ \stackrel{\mathrm{def}}{=}\ g^{\alpha\beta}U^\alpha U^\beta\;, k\; and K\; are constants, square brackets in indices U_\; represent antisymmetrization \lambda\; is a Lagrange multiplier (calculated elsewhere), \tilde g^{\alpha\beta}=e^{2\phi}g^{\alpha\beta}+2U^\alpha U^\beta\sinh(2\phi)\;, and L\; is a Lagrangian translated from flat spacetime onto the metric \tilde g^{\alpha\beta}\;. Note that G need not equal the observed gravitational constant G_{Newton}
F\; is an arbitrary function, and F(\mu)=\textstyle\frac34{\mu^2(\mu2)^2\over 1\mu}\; is given as an example with the right asymptotic behaviour; note how it becomes undefined when \mu=1\;
The PPN parameters of this theory are calculated in,^{[10]} which shows that all its parameters are equal to GR's, except for \alpha_1 = 4 \frac GK ((2K1) e^{4\phi_0}  e^{4\phi_0} + 8)  8 and \alpha_2 = \frac{6 G}{2  K}  \frac{2 G (K + 4) e^{4 \phi_0}}{(2  K)^2}  1, both expressed in geometric units where c = G_{Newtonian} = 1; so G^{1} = \frac 2{2K} + \frac k{4\pi}. The parameter \phi_0 measures the value of the scalar field \phi at infinity, and is given by \frac K{2K} = e^{4\phi_0}  1.
Milgrom^{[11]} proposed a "bimetric MOND" or "BIMOND" theory, with action

S  S_M  \hat{S}_M = {c^4 \over 16\pi G} \int[\beta g^{1/2} R + \alpha \hat{g}^{1/2} \hat{R}  2 (g \hat{g})^{1/4} f(\kappa) l_0^{2} \mathcal{M}(l_0^m \Upsilon^{(m)})] d^4x
with S_M\; and \hat{S}_M the (noninteracting) matter actions attached to the two metrics, \Upsilon a tensor derived from the difference in the metrics' connections, \kappa = (g/\hat{g})^{\frac14} the ratio between the two metric traces, and \alpha, \beta are free parameters. \mathcal{M} is a function which depends on some contractions of the \Upsilon tensors.
Assuming that \mathcal{M} depends only on the scalar contraction of \Upsilon, Milgrom obtained as a nonrelativistic limit his bipotential version of MOND with action

S  S_M = {1 \over 8\pi G} \int[\beta (\nabla\phi)^2 + \alpha (\nabla \hat{\phi})^2  a_0^2 \mathcal{M}((\nabla\phi  \nabla \hat{\phi})^2 / a_0^2)] d^4x

S_M = \rho (v^2/2  \phi)
Here \mathcal{M}(z) should scale as z^{1/4} in the deepMOND limit and as z in the Newtonian limit.
Moffat's theories
J. W. Moffat (1995) developed a nonsymmetric gravitation theory (NGT). This is not a metric theory. It was first claimed that it does not contain a black hole horizon, but Burko and Ori (1995) have found that NGT can contain black holes. Later, Moffat claimed that it has also been applied to explain rotation curves of galaxies without invoking "dark matter". Damour, Deser & MaCarthy (1993) have criticised NGT, saying that it has unacceptable asymptotic behaviour.
The mathematics is not difficult but is intertwined so the following is only a brief sketch. Starting with a nonsymmetric tensor g_{\mu\nu}\;, the Lagrangian density is split into

L=L_R+L_M\;
where L_M\; is the same as for matter in GR.

L_R = \sqrt{g} \left[R(W)2\lambda\frac14\mu^2g^{\mu\nu}g_\right]  \frac16g^{\mu\nu}W_\mu W_\nu\;
where R(W)\; is a curvature term analogous to but not equal to the Ricci curvature in GR, \lambda\; and \mu^2\; are cosmological constants, g_\; is the antisymmetric part of g_{\nu\mu}\;. W_\mu\; is a connection, and is a bit difficult to explain because it's defined recursively. However, W_\mu\approx2g^{,\nu}_\;
Moffat's (2002) theory is a scalartensor bimetric gravity theory (BGT) and is one of the many theories of gravity in which the speed of light is faster in the early universe. These theories were motivated partly be the desire to avoid the "horizon problem" without invoking inflation. It has a variable G\;. The theory also attempts to explain the dimming of supernovae from a perspective other than the acceleration of the universe and so runs the risk of predicting an age for the universe that is too small.
Moffat's (2005a) metricskewtensorgravity (MSTG) theory is able to predict rotation curves for galaxies without either dark matter or MOND, and claims that it can also explain gravitational lensing of galaxy clusters without dark matter. It has variable G\;, increasing to a final constant value about a million years after the big bang.
The theory seems to contain an asymmetric tensor A_{\mu\nu}\; field and a source current J_\mu\; vector. The action is split into:

S=S_G+S_F+S_{FM}+S_M\;
Both the gravity and mass terms match those of GR with cosmological constant. The skew field action and the skew field matter coupling are:

S_F=\int d^4x\,\sqrt{g} \left( \frac1{12}F_{\mu\nu\rho}F^{\mu\nu\rho}  \frac14\mu^2 A_{\mu\nu}A^{\mu\nu} \right)\;

S_{FM}=\int d^4x\,\epsilon^{\alpha\beta\mu\nu}A_{\alpha\beta}\partial_\mu J_\nu\;
where

F_{\mu\nu\rho}=\partial_\mu A_{\nu\rho}+\partial_\rho A_{\mu\nu}
and \epsilon^{\alpha\beta\mu\nu}\; is the LeviCivita symbol. The skew field coupling is a Pauli coupling and is gauge invariant for any source current. The source current looks like a matter fermion field associated with baryon and lepton number.
Moffat (2005b) Scalartensorvector gravity (SVTG) theory.
The theory contains a tensor, vector and three scalar fields. But the equations are quite straightforward. The action is split into: S=S_G+S_K+S_S+S_M\; with terms for gravity, vector field K_\mu, scalar fields G\;, \omega\; & \mu\;, and mass. S_G\; is the standard gravity term with the exception that G\; is moved inside the integral.

S_K=\int d^4x\,\sqrt{g}\omega \left( \frac14 B_{\mu\nu} B^{\mu\nu} + V(K) \right)\;
where B_{\mu\nu}=\partial_\mu K_\nu\partial_\nu K_\mu\;

\begin{align} S_S & = \int d^4x\,\sqrt{g} {1\over G^3} \left( \frac12g^{\mu\nu}\,\nabla_\mu G\,\nabla_\nu G V(G) \right) \\ & {} \qquad\qquad + {1\over G} \left(\frac12g^{\mu\nu}\,\nabla_\mu\omega\,\nabla_\nu\omega V(\omega) \right) +{1\over\mu^2G} \left( \frac12g^{\mu\nu}\,\nabla_\mu\mu\,\nabla_\nu\mu  V(\mu) \right) \end{align}
The potential function for the vector field is chosen to be:

V(K) = \frac12\mu^2\phi^\mu\phi_\mu  \frac14g(\phi^\mu \phi_\mu)^2\;
where g\; is a coupling constant. The functions assumed for the scalar potentials are not stated.

^ this isn't exactly the way Mach originally stated it, see other variants in Mach principle

^

^

^ Walter, S. (2007). Renn, J., ed. The Genesis of General Relativity (Berlin: Springer) 3: 193–252.

^ ^{a} ^{b} A later edition is Will (1993). See also Ni (1972)

^ Although an important source for this article, the presentations of Turyshev (2006) and Lang (2002) contain many errors of fact

^ http://arxiv.org/pdf/0704.1574v2.pdf  Retarded electric and magnetic fields of a moving charge: Feynman's derivation of LiénardWiechert potentials revisited

^ http://gsjournal.net/ScienceJournals/Research%20PapersRelativity%20Theory/Download/4217  On the Multiple Interpretations of Gravity

^ Gary Gibbons; Will (2008). "On the Multiple Deaths of Whitehead's Theory of Gravity". Stud.Hist.Philos.Mod.Phys. 39: 41–61. Cf. Ronny Desmet and Michel Weber (edited by), Whitehead. The Algebra of Metaphysics. Applied Process Metaphysics Summer Institute Memorandum, LouvainlaNeuve, Éditions Chromatika, 2010.

^ Sagi, Eva (July 2009). "Preferred frame parameters in the tensorvectorscalar theory of gravity and its generalization".

^ Milgrom, M (2009). "Bimetric MOND gravity". Physical Review D 80 (12).
References

Barker, B. M. (1978). "General scalartensor theory of gravity with constant G". The Astrophysical Journal 219: 5.

Bekenstein, Jacob (1977). "Are particle rest masses variable? Theory and constraints from solar system experiments". Physical Review D 15 (6): 1458–1468.

Bekenstein, J. D. (2004) Revised gravitation theory for the modified Newtonian dynamics paradigm. Phys. Rev. D 70, 083509

Belinfante, F. J. and Swihart, J. C. (1957a) Phenomenological linear theory of gravitation Part I, Ann. Phys. 1, 168

Belinfante, F. J. and Swihart, J. C. (1957b) Phenomenological linear theory of gravitation Part II, Ann. Phys. 2, 196

Bergman, O. (1956) Scalar field theory as a theory of gravitation, Amer. J. Phys. 24, 39

Bergmann, P. G. (1968) Comments on the scalartensor theory, Int. J. Theor. Phys. 1, 2536

Birkhoff, G. D. (1943) Matter, electricity and gravitation in flat spacetime. Proc. Nat Acad. Sci. U.S. 29, 231239

Bollini, C. G., Giambiagi, J. J., and Tiomno, J. (1970) A linear theory of gravitation, Nuovo Com. Lett. 3, 6570

Burko, L.M. and Ori, A. (1995) On the Formation of Black Holes in Nonsymmetric Gravity, Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 2455–2459

Brans, C. and Dicke, R. H. (1961) Mach's principle and a relativistic theory of gravitation. Phys. Rev. 124, 925935

Carroll, Sean. Video lecture discussion on the possibilities and constraints to revision of the General Theory of Relativity. Dark Energy or Worse: Was Einstein Wrong?

Cartan, É. (1922) Sur une généralisation de la notion de courbure de Riemann et les espaces à torsion. Acad. Sci. Paris, Comptes Rend. 174, 593595

Cartan, É. (1923) Sur les variétés à connexion affine et la théorie de la relativité généralisée. Annales Scientifiques de l'École Normale Superieure Sér. 3, 40, 325412. http://archive.numdam.org/article/ASENS_1923_3_40__325_0.pdf

Damour; Deser; McCarthy (1993). "Nonsymmetric Gravity has Unacceptable Global Asymptotics". arXiv:grqc/9312030 [grqc].

Deser, S. and Laurent, B. E. (1968) Gravitation without selfinteraction, Annals of Physics 50, 76101

Einstein, A. (1912a) Lichtgeschwindigkeit und Statik des Gravitationsfeldes. Annalen der Physik 38, 355369

Einstein, A. (1912b) Zur Theorie des statischen Gravitationsfeldes. Annalen der Physik 38, 443

Einstein, A. and Grossmann, M. (1913), Z. Math Physik 62, 225

Einstein, A. and Fokker, A. D. (1914) Die Nordströmsche Gravitationstheorie vom Standpunkt des absoluten Differentkalküls. Annalen der Physik 44, 321328

Einstein, A. (1916) Annalen der Physik 49, 769

Einstein, A. (1917) Über die Spezielle und die Allgemeinen Relativatätstheorie, Gemeinverständlich, Vieweg, Braunschweig

Fierz, M. and Pauli, W. (1939) On relativistic wave equations for particles of arbitrary spin in an electromagnetic field. Proc. Royal Soc. London 173, 211232

J.Foukzon, S.A.Podosenov, A.A.Potapov, E.Menkova, Bimetric Theory of GravitationalInertial Field in Riemannian and in FinslerLagrange Approximation 2010.http://arxiv.org/abs/1007.3290

Hellings, Ronald; Nordtvedt, Kenneth (1973). "VectorMetric Theory of Gravity". Physical Review D 7 (12): 3593–3602.

Jordan, P.(1955) Schwerkraft und Weltall, Vieweg, Braunschweig

Kustaanheimo, P. (1966) Route dependence of the gravitational redshift. Phys. Lett. 23, 7577

Kustaanheimo, P. E. and Nuotio, V. S. (1967) Publ. Astron. Obs. Helsinki No. 128

Lang, R. (2002) Experimental foundations of general relativity, http://www.mppmu.mpg.de/~rlang/talks/melbourne2002.ppt

Lee, D.; Lightman, A.; Ni, W. (1974). "Conservation laws and variational principles in metric theories of gravity". Physical Review D 10 (6): 1685–1700.

Lightman, Alan; Lee, David (1973). "New TwoMetric Theory of Gravity with Prior Geometry". Physical Review D 8 (10): 3293–3302.

Littlewood, D. E. (1953) Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 49, 9096

Milne E. A. (1948) Kinematic Relativity, Clarendon Press, Oxford

Misner, C. W., Thorne, K. S. and Wheeler, J. A. (1973) Gravitation, W. H. Freeman & Co.

Moffat (1995). "Nonsymmetric Gravitational Theory". Physics Letters B 355 (3–4): 447–452.

Moffat (2003). "Bimetric Gravity Theory, Varying Speed of Light and the Dimming of Supernovae". International Journal of Modern Physics D [Gravitation; Astrophysics and Cosmology] 12 (2): 281.

Moffat (2005). "Gravitational Theory, Galaxy Rotation Curves and Cosmology without Dark Matter". Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2005 (5): 003–003.

Moffat (2006). "ScalarTensorVector Gravity Theory". Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2006 (3): 004–004.

Newton, I. (1686) Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica

Ni, WeiTou (1972). "Theoretical Frameworks for Testing Relativistic Gravity.IV. a Compendium of Metric Theories of Gravity and Their POST Newtonian Limits". The Astrophysical Journal 176: 769.

Ni, WeiTou (1973). "A New Theory of Gravity". Physical Review D 7 (10): 2880–2883.

Nordtvedt, Jr., K. (1970) PostNewtonian metric for a general class of scalartensor gravitational theories with observational consequences, The Astrophysical Journal 161, 1059

Nordtvedt, Jr., K. and Will C. M. (1972) Conservation laws and preferred frames in relativistic gravity II, The Astrophysical Journal 177, 775

Nordström, G. (1912), Relativitätsprinzip und Gravitation. Phys. Zeitschr. 13, 1126

Nordström, G. (1913), Zur Theorie der Gravitation vom Standpunkt des Relativitätsprinzips, Annalen der Physik 42, 533

Pais, A. (1982) Subtle is the Lord, Clarendon Press

Page, C. and Tupper, B. O. J. (1968) Scalar gravitational theories with variable velocity of light, Mon. Not. R. Astr. Soc. 138, 6772

Papapetrou, A. (1954a) Zs Phys., 139, 518

Papapetrou, A. (1954b) Math. Nach., 12, 129 & Math. Nach., 12, 143

Poincaré, H. (1908) Science and Method

Rastall, P. (1979) The Newtonian theory of gravitation and its generalization, Canadian Journal of Physics 57, 944973

Rosen, N. (1971) Theory of gravitation, Physical Review D 3, 2317

Rosen, N. (1973) A bimetric theory of gravitation, General Relativity and Gravitation 4, 435447.

Rosen, N. (1975) A bimetric theory of gravitation II, General Relativity and Gravitation 6, 259268

Seljak, Uros, et al. (2010) Study Validates General Relativity on Cosmic Scale, abstract appears in physorg.com [1]

Thiry, Y. (1948) Les équations de la théorie unitaire de Kaluza, Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci (Paris) 226, 216

Trautman, A. (1972) On the Einstein–Cartan equations I, Bulletin de l'Academie Polonaise des Sciences 20, 185190

Turyshev, S. G. (2006) Testing gravity in the solar system, http://starwww.stand.ac.uk/~hz4/workshop/workshopppt/turyshev.pdf

Wagoner, Robert V. (1970). "ScalarTensor Theory and Gravitational Waves". Physical Review D 1 (12): 3209–3216.

Whitehead, A.N. (1922) The Principles of Relativity, Cambridge Univ. Press

Whitrow, G. J. and Morduch, G. E. (1960) General relativity and Lorentzinvariant theories of gravitations, Nature 188, 790794

Whitrow, G. J. and Morduch, G. E. (1965) Relativistic theories of gravitation, Vistas in Astronomy 6, 167

Will, C. M. (1981, 1993) Theory and Experiment in Gravitational Physics, Cambridge Univ. Press

Will, C. M. (2006) The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment, Living Rev. Relativity 9 (3), http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr20063

Will, C. M. and Nordtvedt Jr., K. (1972) Conservation laws and preferred frames in relativistic gravity I, The Astrophysical Journal 177, 757

Yilmaz, H. (1958) New approach to general relativity, Phys. Rev. 111, 1417

Yilmaz, H. (1973) New approach to relativity and gravitation, Annals of Physics 81, 179200


Standard



Alternatives to
general relativity

Paradigms



Classical



Quantisation



Unification



Unification and
quantisation



Generalisations /
Extensions of GR




PreNewtonian theories
and Toy models



This article was sourced from Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, EGovernment Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a nonprofit organization.