First Order Extended Gravity and the Dark Side of the Universe: the General Theory

Research paper by S. Capozziello, M. De Laurentis, M. Francaviglia, S. Mercadante

Indexed on: 11 Nov '09Published on: 11 Nov '09Published in: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology


General Relativity is not the definitive theory of Gravitation due to several shortcomings which are coming out both from theoretical and experimental viewpoints. At large scales (astrophysical and cosmological scales) the attempts to match it with the today observational data lead to invoke Dark Energy and Dark Matter as the bulk components of the cosmic fluid. Since no final evidence, at fundamental level, exists for such ingredients, it is clear that General Relativity presents shortcomings at infrared scales. On the other hand, the attempts to formulate theories more general than the Einstein one give rise to mathematical difficulties that need workarounds which, in turn, generate problems from the interpretative viewpoint. We present here a completely new approach to the mathematical objects in terms of which a theory of Gravitation may be written in a first-order `a la Palatini formalism, and introduce the concept of Dark Metric which could completely bypass the introduction of disturbing concepts as Dark Energy and Dark Matter.