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Supernovae and the Nature of the Dark Energy

Abstract : The use of Type Ia supernovae as calibrated standard candles is one of the most powerful tools to study the expansion history of the universe and thereby its energy components. While the analysis of some ~50 supernovae at redshifts around z~0.5 have provided strong evidence for an energy component with negative pressure, ``dark energy'', more data is needed to enable an accurate estimate of the amount and nature of this energy. This might be accomplished by a dedicated space telescope, the SuperNova / Acceleration Probe (2000; SNAP), which aims at collecting a large number of supernovae with z<2. In this paper we assess the ability of the SNAP mission to determine various properties of the ``dark energy.'' To exemplify, we expect SNAP, if operated for three years to study Type Ia supernovae, to be able to determine the parameters in a linear equation of state w(z)=w0 + w1 z to within a statistical uncertainty of +-0.04 for w0 and +0.15,-0.17 for w1 assuming that the universe is known to be flat and an independent high precision (sigma_{Omega_m}=0.015) measurement of the mass density Omega_m, is used to constrain the fit. An additional improvement can be obtained if a large number of low-z, as well as high-z, supernovae are included in the sample.
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Contributor : Dominique Girod <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 1:48:05 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 10, 2020 - 4:57:20 PM

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M. Goliath, R. Amanullah, P. Astier, A. Goobar, R. Pain. Supernovae and the Nature of the Dark Energy. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2001, 380, pp.6-18. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361:20011398⟩. ⟨in2p3-00130918⟩

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