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Model-independent curvature determination with 21 cm intensity mapping experiments

Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

Published: 2018-04-18

DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/sly062

Affiliations: 7

Authors: 6

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Research Highlight

Measuring the curvature of the Universe

© sololos/Getty

© sololos/Getty

Scientists have calculated that measurements by radio telescope arrays of the light emitted by hydrogen in distant galaxies should lead to more accurate estimates of the Universe’s curvature.

Although measurements of the curvature of the Universe have improved in recent years, they still require assumptions to be made about the influence of dark energy, which makes up nearly 70% of the Universe, introducing uncertainty.

Now, an international team of scientists, including researchers from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, shows how changes to the intensity of a spectral line of hydrogen before and after a period in which the Universe rapidly expanded can be used to measure its curvature.

Since the technique is independent of assumptions about dark energy, it could lead to measurements that are an order of magnitude more accurate than currently possible.

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  1. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 477, L122−L127 (2018). doi: 10.1093/mnrasl/sly062
Institutions Share
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UWC, South Africa 0.39
UCT Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, South Africa 0.22
Department of Astronomy, UC Berkeley, United States of America (USA) 0.08
Radio Astronomy Laboratory (RAL), UC Berkeley, United States of America (USA) 0.08
SKA South Africa, South Africa 0.08
School of Natural Sciences (SNS), IAS, United States of America (USA) 0.08
School of Physics and Astronomy, QMUL, United Kingdom (UK) 0.06