Testing Verlinde's emergent gravity in early-type galaxies

Tortora, C., Koopmans, L. V. E., Napolitano, N. R. & Valentijn, E. A. Jan-2018 In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 473, 2, p. 2324–2334

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Verlinde derived gravity as an emergent force from the information flow, through two-dimensional surfaces and recently, by a priori postulating the entanglement of information in 3D space, he derived the effect of the gravitational potential from dark matter (DM) as the entropy displacement of dark energy by baryonic matter. In Emergent Gravity (EG) this apparent DM depends only on the baryonic mass distribution and the present-day value of the Hubble parameter. In this paper we test the EG proposition, formalized by Verlinde for a spherical and isolated mass distribution, using the central velocity dispersion, $\sigma$ and the light distribution in a sample of 4260 massive and local early-type galaxies (ETGs) from the SPIDER sample. Our results remain unaltered if we consider the sample of 807 roundest field galaxies. We derive the predictions by EG for the stellar mass-to-light ratio (M/L) and the Initial Mass Function (IMF), and compare them with the same inferences derived from a) DM-based models, b) MOND and c) stellar population models. We demonstrate that, consistently with a classical Newtonian framework with a DM halo component, or alternative theories of gravity as MOND, the central dynamics can be fitted if the IMF is assumed non-universal. The results can be interpreted with a IMF lighter than a standard Chabrier at low-$\sigma$, and bottom-heavier IMFs at larger $\sigma$. We find lower, but still acceptable, stellar M/L in EG theory, if compared with the DM-based NFW model and with MOND. The results from EG are comparable to what is found if the DM haloes are adiabatically contracted and with expectations from spectral gravity-sensitive features. If the strain caused by the entropy displacement would be not maximal, as adopted in the current formulation, then the dynamics of ETGs could be reproduced with larger M/L. (abridged)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2324–2334
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date25-Sep-2017
StatePublished - Jan-2018


  • Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics, Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies

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