Vol. 15 (2012) > lrr-2012-10

doi: 10.12942/lrr-2012-10
Living Rev. Relativity 15 (2012), 10

Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND): Observational Phenomenology and Relativistic Extensions

1 Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg, CNRS, UMR 7550, France and AIfA, University of Bonn, Germany
2 Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, USA and Case Western Reserve University, USA

Full text: HTML | PDF (5564.4 Kb)

Article Abstract

A wealth of astronomical data indicate the presence of mass discrepancies in the Universe. The motions observed in a variety of classes of extragalactic systems exceed what can be explained by the mass visible in stars and gas. Either (i) there is a vast amount of unseen mass in some novel form - dark matter - or (ii) the data indicate a breakdown of our understanding of dynamics on the relevant scales, or (iii) both. Here, we first review a few outstanding challenges for the dark matter interpretation of mass discrepancies in galaxies, purely based on observations and independently of any alternative theoretical framework. We then show that many of these puzzling observations are predicted by one single relation - Milgrom's law - involving an acceleration constant a_0 (or a characteristic surface density Σ_† = a_0∕G) on the order of the square-root of the cosmological constant in natural units. This relation can at present most easily be interpreted as the effect of a single universal force law resulting from a modification of Newtonian dynamics (MOND) on galactic scales. We exhaustively review the current observational successes and problems of this alternative paradigm at all astrophysical scales, and summarize the various theoretical attempts (TeVeS, GEA, BIMOND, and others) made to effectively embed this modification of Newtonian dynamics within a relativistic theory of gravity.

Keywords: cosmology, fundamental physics, equations of motion, extragalactic astronomy, theories of gravity, astronomical observations, Newtonian limit, astrophysics

Article Downloads

Article Format Size (Kb)
RIS UTF-8 Latin-1
EndNote UTF-8 Latin-1

Article Citation

Since a Living Reviews in Relativity article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Benoît Famaey and Stacy S. McGaugh,
"Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND): Observational Phenomenology and Relativistic Extensions",
Living Rev. Relativity 15,  (2012),  10. URL (cited on <date>):

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-2012-10
Title Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND): Observational Phenomenology and Relativistic Extensions
Author Benoît Famaey / Stacy S. McGaugh
Date accepted 30 April 2012, published 7 September 2012
  • Bookmark this article:
  • bibsonomy
  • citeulike
  • delicious
  • digg
  • mendeley
Comment(s) on this article



Impact Factor 2014