Scientific Goals

  • The main goal is to construct an effective theory of gravity capable of encompassing both the phenomenology related to the lack of a quantum field theory of gravity, and the phenomenology related to the various astrophysical scales (e.g self-gravitating systems, galaxies, large scale structure) that cannot be explained within the framework of GR without including dark matter and dark energy. The paradigm resorts to gravitational field theories less restrictive than the one based on the Hilbert-Einstein action and search for their self-consistent theoretical foundation. Specifically, GR imposes an action linear in the Ricci scalar R: we will allow functions not linear in R or other curvature invariants. The aim is to show that such extended schemes naturally arise from fundamental theories of physics (UV scales) and could overcome the need of “dark” components (IR scales).
  • From a theoretical viewpoint, we intend to study how Extended Theories of Gravity (ETG) emerge from QFT, and how mechanisms produced by the latter may explain cosmological dynamics without assuming exotic ingredients. In particular, we want to compare the ΛCDM model, based on the need of dark matter and dark energy with extensions of GR. The starting points are existing scientific positive results, and an already well-established previous network structure. The final aim is to build up self-consistent models at the various scales and, in principle, to find out some “crucial feature” capable of confirming or ruling out ETG with respect to GR.
  • Within the proposed program, we will enhance already existing collaborations, and we will start a European pilot project CANTATA with the goal of developing a synergy between our expertise and competences. Capital points will be i) supporting, training and promoting early stage researchers, ii) interactions between (network) senior members of the network and trainees (by seminars, working group meetings and theme workshops), iii) empowering female scientists iv) setting up a website of excellence to reinforce an activity that, as documented, is already qualified and could produce high impact results from the scientific and social viewpoints. Last but not the least, the Network seeks to involve from its inception researchers of other European (EU) sites.