A TEST of COSMOLOGICAL MODELS USING HIGH-z MEASUREMENTS of H(z)

Fulvio Melia, Thomas M. McClintock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recently constructed Hubble diagram using a combined sample of SNLS and SDSS-II SNe Ia, and an application of the Alcock-Paczyński (AP) test using model-independent Baryon Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) data, have suggested that the principal constraint underlying the cosmic expansion is the total equation-of-state of the cosmic fluid, rather than that of its dark energy. These studies have focused on the critical redshift range (0 ≲ z ≲ 2) within which the transition from decelerated to accelerated expansion is thought to have occurred, and they suggest that the cosmic fluid has zero active mass, consistent with a constant expansion rate. The evident impact of this conclusion on cosmological theory calls for an independent confirmation. In this paper, we carry out this crucial one-on-one comparison between the Rh = ct universe (a Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmology with zero active mass) and wCDM/ΛCDM, using the latest high-z measurements of H(z). Whereas the SNe Ia yield the integrated luminosity distance, while the AP diagnostic tests the geometry of the universe, the Hubble parameter directly samples the expansion rate itself. We find that the model-independent cosmic chronometer data prefer Rh = ct over wCDM/ΛCDM with a Bayes Information Criterion likelihood of ∼95% versus only ∼5%, in strong support of the earlier SNe Ia and AP results. This contrasts with a recent analysis of H(z) data based solely on BAO measurements which, however, strongly depend on the assumed cosmology. We discuss why the latter approach is inappropriate for model comparisons, and emphasize again the need for truly model-independent observations to be used in cosmological tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume150
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Keywords

  • cosmological parameters
  • cosmology: observations
  • cosmology: theory
  • distance scale
  • galaxies: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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