Solutions of conformal gravity with dynamical mass generation in the solar system
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
An investigation is made into the viability of the fourth-order conformal theory of gravity with dynamical mass generation. This is done by considering the analytical behaviour of the equations of motion and using this as a guide to producing numerical solutions to these equations. A review of some criticisms of the fourth-order gravity theory is included. Numerical solutions of the equations of motion are produced for the domain interior to the source and the exterior region within the solar system, with a variety of source conditions and under different formulations. These are analysed with consideration of reasonable physical and observational requirements, based on the well established solar system gravitational effects. The possibility of extra gravitational effects to explain anomalies in current gravitational theory is investigated. These effects include the possible anomalous acceleration of the Pioneer spacecraft, and could be extended to cover galaxy-scale phenomena such as galactic rotation curves. Conclusions are then drawn about what formulations and parameter sets are viable for good representation of the physics. The effects of the dynamical mass generation on observed phenomena are discussed, with reference to the potential resolution of gravitational anomalies.