Philip D. Mannheim

In this review we discuss the connection between two seemingly disparate topics, macroscopic gravity on astrophysical scales and Hamiltonians that are not Hermitian but $PT$ symmetric on microscopic ones. In particular we show that the quantum-mechanical unitarity problem of the fourth-order derivative conformal gravity theory is resolved by recognizing that the scalar product appropriate to the theory is not the Dirac norm associated with a Hermitian Hamiltonian but is instead the norm associated with a non-Hermitian but \(PT\)-symmetric Hamiltonian. Moreover, the fourth-order theory Hamiltonian is not only not Hermitian, it is not even diagonalizable, being of Jordan-block form. With \(PT\) symmetry we establish that conformal gravity is consistent at the quantum-mechanical level. In consequence, we can apply the theory to data, to find that the theory is capable of naturally accounting for the systematics of the rotation curves of a large and varied sample of 138 spiral galaxies without any need for dark matter. The success of the fits provides evidence for the relevance of non-diagonalizable but \(PT\)-symmetric Hamiltonians to physics.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.5717

High Energy Physics – Theory (hep-th); Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)