Cosmological implications of baryon acoustic oscillation measurements

Gontcho, Satya Gontcho A.; Ge, Jian; Le Goff, J.-M.; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Font-Ribera, Andreu; Delubac, Timothée; Dawson, Kyle S.; Cuesta, Antonio J.; Comparat, Johan; Croft, Rupert A. C.; Chuang, Chia-Hsun; Carithers, William; Brownstein, Joel R.; Burden, Angela; Busca, Nicolás G.; Brewington, Howard; Brinkmann, J.; Bovy, Jo; Bolton, Adam S.; Blomqvist, Michael; Blanton, Michael; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Beutler, Florian; Bhardwaj, Vaishali; Bautista, Julian E.; Bailey, Stephen; Aubourg, É.; Gott, J. Richard; Gunn, James E.; Guo, Hong; Guy, Julien; Hamilton, Jean-Christophe; Ho, Shirley; Honscheid, Klaus; Howlett, Cullan; Kirkby, David; Kitaura, Francisco S.; Kneib, Jean-Paul; Lee, Khee-Gan; Long, Dan; Lupton, Robert H.; Magaña, Mariana Vargas; Malanushenko, Viktor; Malanushenko, Elena; Manera, Marc; Maraston, Claudia; Margala, Daniel; McBride, Cameron K.; Miralda-Escudé, Jordi; Myers, Adam D.; Nichol, Robert C.; Noterdaeme, Pasquier; Nuza, Sebastián E.; Olmstead, Matthew D.; Oravetz, Daniel; Pâris, Isabelle; Padmanabhan, Nikhil; Palanque-Delabrouille, Nathalie; Pan, Kaike; Pellejero-Ibañez, M.; Percival, Will J.; Petitjean, Patrick; Pieri, Matthew M.; Prada, Francisco; Reid, Beth; Rich, James; Roe, Natalie A.; Ross, Ashley J.; Ross, Nicholas P.; Rossi, Graziano; Rubiño-Martín, J. A.; Sánchez, Ariel G.; Samushia, Lado; Génova-Santos, R.; Scóccola, C. G.; Schlegel, David J.; Schneider, Donald P.; Seo, Hee-Jong; Sheldon, Erin; Simmons, Audrey; Skibba, Ramin A.; Slosar, Anže; Strauss, Michael A.; Thomas, Daniel; Tinker, Jeremy L.; Tojeiro, Rita; Vazquez, Jose Alberto; Viel, Matteo; Wake, David A.; Weaver, Benjamin A.; Weinberg, David H.; Wood-Vasey, W. M.; Yèche, Christophe; Zehavi, Idit; Zhao, Gong-Bo; BOSS Collaboration
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Physical Review D, Volume 92, Issue 12, id.123516

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We derive constraints on cosmological parameters and tests of dark energy models from the combination of baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) measurements with cosmic microwave background (CMB) data and a recent reanalysis of Type Ia supernova (SN) data. In particular, we take advantage of high-precision BAO measurements from galaxy clustering and the Lyman-α forest (LyaF) in the SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS). Treating the BAO scale as an uncalibrated standard ruler, BAO data alone yield a high confidence detection of dark energy; in combination with the CMB angular acoustic scale they further imply a nearly flat universe. Adding the CMB-calibrated physical scale of the sound horizon, the combination of BAO and SN data into an "inverse distance ladder" yields a measurement of H0=67.3 ±1.1 km s-1 Mpc-1 , with 1.7% precision. This measurement assumes standard prerecombination physics but is insensitive to assumptions about dark energy or space curvature, so agreement with CMB-based estimates that assume a flat Λ CDM cosmology is an important corroboration of this minimal cosmological model. For constant dark energy (Λ ), our BAO +SN +CMB combination yields matter density Ωm=0.301 ±0.008 and curvature Ωk=-0.003 ±0.003 . When we allow more general forms of evolving dark energy, the BAO +SN +CMB parameter constraints are always consistent with flat Λ CDM values at ≈1 σ . While the overall χ2 of model fits is satisfactory, the LyaF BAO measurements are in moderate (2 - 2.5 σ ) tension with model predictions. Models with early dark energy that tracks the dominant energy component at high redshift remain consistent with our expansion history constraints, and they yield a higher H0 and lower matter clustering amplitude, improving agreement with some low redshift observations. Expansion history alone yields an upper limit on the summed mass of neutrino species, ∑mν<0.56 eV (95% confidence), improving to ∑mν<0.25 eV if we include the lensing signal in the Planck CMB power spectrum. In a flat Λ CDM model that allows extra relativistic species, our data combination yields Neff=3.43 ±0.26 ; while the LyaF BAO data prefer higher Neff when excluding galaxy BAO, the galaxy BAO alone favor Neff≈3 . When structure growth is extrapolated forward from the CMB to low redshift, standard dark energy models constrained by our data predict a level of matter clustering that is high compared to most, but not all, observational estimates.
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