Limits to verification in cosmology
Abstract
Consideration is given to the problem of proving observationally that the universe is well described by a FriedmannRobertsonWalker (FRW) universe model as an example of limits to be encountered in observational verifications in cosmology. The information obtainable from electromagnetic radiation originating from distant galaxies concerning the local spacetime geometry is examined in detail, and the ideal observational data that will imply the universe to be a FRW universe model are indicated. Physical limitations preventing the direct observation of this cosmological data are then pointed out, and methods for verifying by observation that a previously determined isotropic cosmological model corresponds to a specific FRW spacetime are considered, with attention given to observational limitations, astrophysical uncertainty and selection effects in confirming isotropy verifying spatial homogeneity and determining the Hubble constant and the deceleration parameter. It is concluded that practical limits to verification should be accorded a fundamental status in views of cosmology, since they limit the extent to which cosmology can be considered an observationally based subject.
 Publication:

Ninth Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics
 Pub Date:
 February 1980
 DOI:
 10.1111/j.17496632.1980.tb15926.x
 Bibcode:
 1980NYASA.336..130E
 Keywords:

 Astronomical Models;
 Cosmology;
 Universe;
 Astronomical Maps;
 Electromagnetic Radiation;
 Hubble Constant;
 Isotropy;
 Proving;
 Red Shift;
 SpaceTime Functions;
 Astrophysics