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Figures of merit for present and future dark energy probes

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Title: Figures of merit for present and future dark energy probes
Creators: Mortonson, Michael J.; Huterer, Dragan; Hu, Wayne
Issue Date: 2010-09-14
Publisher: American Physical Society
Citation: Michael J. Mortonson, Dragan Huterer, Wayne Hu, "Figures of merit for present and future dark energy probes," Physical Review D 82, no. 6 (2010), doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.82.063004
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.82.063004
Abstract: We compare current and forecasted constraints on dynamical dark energy models from Type Ia supernovae and the cosmic microwave background using figures of merit based on the volume of the allowed dark energy parameter space. For a two-parameter dark energy equation of state that varies linearly with the scale factor, and assuming a flat universe, the area of the error ellipse can be reduced by a factor of ~10 relative to current constraints by future space-based supernova data and CMB measurements from the Planck satellite. If the dark energy equation of state is described by a more general basis of principal components, the expected improvement in volume-based figures of merit is much greater. While the forecasted precision for any single parameter is only a factor of 2-5 smaller than current uncertainties, the constraints on dark energy models bounded by -1=w=1 improve for approximately 6 independent dark energy parameters resulting in a reduction of the total allowed volume of principal component parameter space by a factor of ~100. Typical quintessence models can be adequately described by just 2-3 of these parameters even given the precision of future data, leading to a more modest but still significant improvement. In addition to advances in supernova and CMB data, percent-level measurement of absolute distance and/or the expansion rate is required to ensure that dark energy constraints remain robust to variations in spatial curvature.
ISSN: 1550-2368
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/48027
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