Fifth Force, Sixth Force, and all That: A Theoretical (Classical) Comment

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Scientific Paper
Title Fifth Force, Sixth Force, and all That: A Theoretical (Classical) Comment
Author(s) Erasmo Recami, Vilson Tonin-Zanchin
Keywords gravitational laws, general relativity, new effects, cosmological constant
Published 1989
Journal None
Pages 215-220


In the recent literature, a few claims appeared about possible deviations from the ordinary gravitational laws (both at the terrestrial and at the galactic level). The experimental evidence does not seem to be conclusive; nor is it clear if new forces are showing up, or if we have to accept actual deviations from Newton or Einstein gravitation (in the latter case, the validity of the very Equivalence Principle might be on the stage). In such a situation, the attempts by various authors at explaining the "new effects" just on the basis of the ordinary theory of General Relativity (for instance, in terms of quantum gravity) can be regarded as logically questionable. In this pedagogically oriented paper, we approach the problem within the classical realm, by exploring whether the possible new effects can be accounted for through minimal modifications of the standard formulation of General Relativity: in particular, through exploitation and extension of the role of the cosmological constant.