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K-mouflage Cosmology: the Background Evolution

Abstract : We study the cosmology of K-mouflage theories at the background level. We show that the effects of the scalar field are suppressed at high matter density in the early Universe and only play a role in the late time Universe where the deviations of the Hubble rate from its $\Lambda$-CDM counterpart can be of order five percent for redshifts $1 \lesssim z \lesssim 5$. Similarly, we find that the equation of state can cross the phantom divide in the recent past and even diverge when the effective scalar energy density goes negative and subdominant compared to matter, preserving the positivity of the squared Hubble rate. These features are present in models for which Big Bang Nucleosynthesis is not affected. We analyse the fate of K-mouflage when the nonlinear kinetic terms give rise to ghosts, particle excitations with negative energy. In this case, we find that the K-mouflage theories can only be considered as an effective description of the Universe at low energy below $1$ keV. In the safe ghost-free models, we find that the equation of state always diverges in the past and changes significantly by a few percent since $z\lesssim 1$.
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Philippe Brax, Patrick Valageas. K-mouflage Cosmology: the Background Evolution. Physical Review D, American Physical Society, 2014, 90, pp.023507. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevD.90.023507⟩. ⟨cea-00982376⟩

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