Leading Dark Energy Theory Incompatible with New Measurement

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The latest observations of exploding stars could call into question the cosmological constant explanation of dark energy
By Clara Moskowitz
How much to read into the calculation depends on how uncertain it is, and whether systematic errors associated with the telescope and the analysis skewed the result. “It’s generally accepted that telescope calibration, supernova physics and galaxy properties are big sources of uncertainties, so everyone’s trying to figure these out in different ways,” says Daniel Scolnic of Johns Hopkins University, who led an accompanying paper estimating the data’s uncertainties. “I think that Dan did an excellent job characterizing their systematics,” says Alexander Conley of the University of Colorado at Boulder who worked on a different supernova study called the Supernova Legacy Survey that found similar results. “They still have a lot of work to do to improve the characterization for future papers, but they know that and are working on it.” However, another survey researcher, Julien Guy of University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, says the team may have underestimated their systematic error by ignoring an extra source of uncertainty from supernova light-curve models. He’s been in touch with the Pan-STARRS researchers, who are looking into that factor. Ultimately, most experts say the new results are tantalizing, but don’t prove the existence of new physics. “The Pan-STARRS paper presents a very thorough, careful analysis and a solid result, but it doesn’t qualitatively change our view of the cosmological parameters,” says Joshua Frieman, an astrophysicist at Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., who was not involved in the research….
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Written by physicsgg

October 24, 2013 at 5:47 am


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