Model-independent reconstruction of the expansion history of the Universe from Type Ia supernovae

Authors

  • S. Benitez-Herrera,

    Corresponding author
    1. Max Planck Institute für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, D-85741 Garching, Germany
      E-mail: benitez@mpa-garching.mpg.de
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  • F. Röpke,

    1. Max Planck Institute für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, D-85741 Garching, Germany
    2. Universität Würzburg, Emil-Fischer-Str. 31, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany
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  • W. Hillebrandt,

    1. Max Planck Institute für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, D-85741 Garching, Germany
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  • C. Mignone,

    1. Zentrum für Astronomie, ITA, Universität Heidelberg, Albert-Überle-Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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  • M. Bartelmann,

    1. Zentrum für Astronomie, ITA, Universität Heidelberg, Albert-Überle-Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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  • J. Weller

    1. Excellence Cluster Universe, Boltzmannstr. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
    2. University Observatory, Ludwig-Maximillians University Munich, Scheinerstr. 1, 81679, Munich, Germany
    3. Max Planck Institute für Extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstr., 85748, Garching, Germany
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E-mail: benitez@mpa-garching.mpg.de

ABSTRACT

Based on the largest homogeneously reduced set of Type Ia supernova luminosity data currently available – the Union2 sample – we reconstruct the expansion history of the Universe in a model-independent approach. Our method tests the geometry of the Universe directly without reverting to any assumptions made on its energy content and thus allows us to constrain dark energy models in a straightforward way. This is demonstrated by confronting the expansion history reconstructed from the supernova data to predictions of several dark energy models in the framework of the w cold dark matter (wCDM) paradigm. In addition, we test various non-standard cosmologies such as braneworlds, f(R) and kinematical models. This is mainly intended to demonstrate the power of the method. Although statistical rigour is not the aim of our current study, some extreme cosmologies clearly disagree with the reconstructed expansion history. We note that the applicability of the presented method is not restricted to testing cosmological models. It can be a valuable tool for pointing out systematic errors hidden in the supernova data and planning future Type Ia supernova cosmology campaigns.

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