Strong gravitational lenses provide source/lens distance ratios D-obs useful in cosmological tests. Previously, a catalog of 69 such systems was used in a one-on-one comparison between the standard model, Lambda CDM, and the R-h = ct universe, which has thus far been favored by the application of model selection tools to many other kinds of data. But in that work, the use of model parametric fits to the observations could not easily distinguish between these two cosmologies, in part due to the limited measurement precision. Here, we instead use recently developed methods based on Gaussian Processes (GP), in which D-obs may be reconstructed directly from the data without assuming any parametric form. This approach not only smooths out the reconstructed function representing the data, but also reduces the size of the 1 sigma confidence regions, thereby providing greater power to discern between different models. With the current sample size, we show that analyzing strong lenses with a GP approach can definitely improve the model comparisons, producing probability differences in the range similar to 10-30%. These results are still marginal, however, given the relatively small sample. Nonetheless, we conclude that the probability of R-h = ct being the correct cosmology is somewhat higher than that of Lambda CDM, with a degree of significance that grows with the number of sources in the subsamples we consider. Future surveys will significantly grow the catalog of strong lenses and will therefore benefit considerably from the GP method we describe here. In addition, we point out that if the R-h = ct universe is eventually shown to be the correct cosmology, the lack of free parameters in the study of strong lenses should provide a remarkably powerful tool for uncovering the mass structure in lensing galaxies.
Particle physics suggests that the Universe may have undergone several phase transitions, including the well- known inflationary event associated with the separation of the strong and electroweak forces in grand unified theories. The accelerated cosmic expansion during this transition, at cosmic time t ∼ 10−36 − 10−33 s, is often viewed as an explanation for the uniformity of the CMB temperature, T , which would otherwise have required inexplicable initial conditions. With the discovery of the Higgs particle, it is now quite likely that the Universe underwent another (elec- troweak) phase transition, at T = 159.5 ± 1.5 GeV – roughly ∼ 10−11 s after the big bang. During this event, the fermions gained mass and the electric force separated from the weak force. There is currently no established explanation, however, for the apparent uniformity of the vacuum expectation value of the Higgs field which, like the uniformity in T , gives rise to its own horizon problem in standard ΛCDM cosmology. We show in this paper that a solution to the electroweak horizon problem may be found in the choice of cosmological model, and demonstrate that this issue does not exist in the alterna- tive Friedmann–Robertson–Walker cosmology known as the Rh = ct universe.
The growth of structure may be traced via the redshift-dependent halo mass function. This quantity probes the re-ionization history and quasar abundance in the Universe, constituting an important probe of the cosmological predictions. Halos are not directly observable, however, so their mass and evolution must be inferred indirectly. The most common approach is to presume a relationship with galaxies and halos. Studies based on the assumption of a constant halo to stellar mass ratio Mh/M (extrapolated from z less than or similar to 4) reveal significant tension with Lambda CDM - a failure known as The Impossibly Early Galaxy Problem. But whether this ratio evolves or remains constant through redshift 4 less than or similar to z less than or similar to 10 is still being debated. To eliminate the tension with Lambda CDM, it would have to change by about 0.8 dex over this range, an issue that may be settled by upcoming observations with the James Webb Space Telescope. In this paper, we explore the possibility that this major inconsistency may instead be an indication that the cosmological model is not completely correct. We study this problem in the context of another Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) model known as the Rh=ct universe, and use our previous measurement of sigma 8 from the cosmological growth rate, together with new solutions to the Einstein-Boltzmann equations, to interpret these recent halo measurements. We demonstrate that the predicted mass and redshift dependence of the halo distribution in Rh=ct is consistent with the data, even assuming a constant Mh/M throughout the observed redshift range (4 less than or similar to z less than or similar to 10), contrasting sharply with the tension in Lambda CDM. We conclude that - if Mh/M turns out to be constant - the massive galaxies and their halos must have formed earlier than is possible in Lambda CDM.
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