Robust Measurement of the Cosmic Distance Scale Using Baryon Acoustic Oscillations
AdvisorEisenstein, Daniel J.
Walker, Christopher K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWe present techniques for obtaining precision distance measurements using the baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) through controlling systematics and reducing statistical uncertainties. Using the resulting distance-redshift relation, we can infer cosmological parameters such as w, the equation of state of dark energy. We introduce a new statistic, ɷ(l)(r(s)), for BAO analysis that affords better control over systematics. It is computed by band-filtering the power spectrum P(k) or the correlation function ξ(r) to extract the BAO signal. This is conducive to several favourable outcomes. We compute ɷ(l)(r(s)) from 44 simulations and compare the results to P(k) and ξ(r). We find that the acoustic scales and theoretical errors we measure are consistent between all three statistics. We demonstrate the first application of reconstruction to a galaxy redshift survey. Reconstruction is designed to partially undo the effects of non-linear structure growth on the BAO, allowing more precise measurements of the acoustic scale. We also present a new method for deriving a smooth covariance matrix based on a Gaussian model. In addition, we develop and perform detailed robustness tests on the ξ(r) model we employ to extract the BAO scale from the data. Using these methods, we obtain spherically-averaged distances to z = 0.35 and z = 0.57 from SDSS DR7 and DR9 with 1.9% and 1.7% precision respectively. Combined with WMAP7 CMB observations, SNLS3 data and BAO measurements from 6dF, we measure w = -1.08 ± 0.08 assuming a wCDM cosmology. This represents a ~8% measurement of w and is consistent with a cosmological constant.The preceding does not capture the expansion history of the universe, H(z), encoded in the line-of-sight distance scale. To disentangle H(z), we exploit the anisotropic BAO signal that arises if we assume the wrong cosmology when calculating the clustering distribution. Since we expect the BAO signal to be isotropic, we can use the magnitude of the anisotropy to separately measure H(z) and D(A)(z). We apply our simple models to SDSS DR7 data and obtain a ~3.6% measurement of D(A)(z=0.35) and a ~8.4% measurement of H(z = 0.35).
Degree ProgramGraduate College