An important issue in cosmology is reconstructing the effective dark energy equation of state directly from observations. With so few physically motivated models, future dark energy studies cannot only be based on constraining a dark energy parameter space. We present a new nonparametric method which can accurately reconstruct a wide variety of dark energy behavior with no prior assumptions about it. It is simple, quick and relatively accurate, and involves no expensive explorations of parameter space. The technique uses principal component analysis and a combination of information criteria to identify real features in the data, and tailors the fitting functions to pick up trends and smooth over noise. We find that we can constrain a large variety of w(z) models to within 10%-20% at redshifts z≲1 using just SNAP-quality data.
Physical Review Letters
- Pub Date:
- May 2010
- Dark energy;
- Observational cosmology;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 5 pages, 4 figures. v2 has added refs plus minor changes. To appear in PRL