We compare Mercury’s precession test in standard general relativity, Brans–Dicke theories (BD), and Palatini f(R) -theories. We avoid post-Newtonian approximation and compute exact precession in these theories. We show that the well-known mathematical equivalence between Palatini f(R) -theories and a specific subset of BD theories does not extend to a really physical equivalence among theories since equivalent models still allow a different incompatible precession for Mercury depending on the solution one chooses. As a result one cannot use BD equivalence to rule out Palatini f(R) -theories. On the contrary, we directly discuss that Palatini f(R) -theories can (and specific models do) easily pass Solar System tests as Mercury’s precession.
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