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Melia, Fulvio (23)

Univ Arizona, Dept Astron (23)

Univ Arizona, Dept Phys, Appl Math Program (15)Univ Arizona, Dept Phys (8)Melia, Fulvio (6) Univ Arizona, Dept Phys, Program Appl Math (6)Leaf, Kyle (4)Yennapureddy, Manoj K. (4)Fatuzzo, Marco (1)Fatuzzo, Marco (1) View MoreTypes
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A comparison of the R_h=ct and LCDM cosmologies using the Cosmic Distance Duality Relation

Melia, Fulvio (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2018-09-21)

The cosmic distance duality (CDD) relation (based on the Etherington reciprocity theorem) plays a crucial role in a wide assortment of cosmological measurements. Attempts at confirming it observationally have met with mixed results, though the general consensus appears to be that the data do support its existence in nature. A common limitation with past approaches has been their reliance on a specific cosmological model, or on measurements of the luminosity distance to Type Ia SNe, which introduces a dependence on the presumed cosmology in spite of beliefs to the contrary. Confirming that the CDD is actually realized in nature is crucial because its violation would require exotic new physics. In this paper, we study the CDD using the observed angular size of compact quasar cores and a Gaussian Process reconstruction of the H II galaxy Hubble diagram – without pre-assuming any particular background cosmology. In so doing, we confirm at a very high level of confidence that the angular-diameter and luminosity distances do indeed satisfy the CDD. We then demonstrate the potential power of this result by utilizing it in a comparative test of two competing cosmological models – the Rh = ct universe and ΛCDM – and show that Rh = ct is favoured by the CDD data with a likelihood ∼82.3 per cent compared with ∼17.7 per cent for the standard model.

Evidence of a truncated spectrum in the angular correlation function of the cosmic microwave background

Melia, Fulvio; López-Corredoira, M. (EDP SCIENCES S A, 2018-03-09)

Aim. The lack of large-angle correlations in the fluctuations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) conflicts with predictions of slow-roll inflation. But while probabilities (≲0.24%) for the missing correlations disfavour the conventional picture at ≳3σ, factors not associated with the model itself may be contributing to the tension. Here we aim to show that the absence of large-angle correlations is best explained with the introduction of a non-zero minimum wave number kmin for the fluctuation power spectrum P(k).
Methods. We assumed that quantum fluctuations were generated in the early Universe with a well-defined power spectrum P(k), although with a cut-off kmin ≠ 0. We then re-calculated the angular correlation function of the CMB and compared it with Planck observations.
Results. The Planck 2013 data rule out a zero kmin at a confidence level exceeding 8σ. Whereas purely slow-roll inflation would have stretched all fluctuations beyond the horizon, producing a P(k) with kmin = 0 – and therefore strong correlations at all angles – a kmin ≠ 0 would signal the presence of a maximum wavelength at the time (tdec) of decoupling. This argues against the basic inflationary paradigm, and perhaps even suggests non-inflationary alternatives, for the origin and growth of perturbations in the early Universe. In at least one competing cosmology, the Rh = ct universe, the inferred kmin corresponds to the gravitational radius at tdec.

Testing viable f(R) models with the angular-diameter distance to compact quasar cores

Sultana, Joseph; Melia, Fulvio; Kazanas, Demosthenes (AMER PHYSICAL SOC, 2019-05-06)

We consider here some popular f(R) models generally viewed as possible alternatives to the existence of dark energy in General Relativity. For each of these, we compute the redshift zmax at which the angular diameter distance dA(z) is expected to reach its maximum value. This turning point in dA(z) was recently measured in a model-independent way using compact quasar cores and was found to occur at zmax=1.70±0.20. We compare the predictions of zmax for the f(R) models with this observed value to test their viability at a deeper level than has been attempted thus far, thereby quantifying an important observational difference between such modified gravity scenarios and standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter (ΛCDM) cosmology. Our results show that, while the most popular f(R) models today are consistent with this measurement to within 1σ, the turning point zmax will allow us to prioritize these alternative gravity theories as the measurement precision continues to improve, particularly with regard to how well they mitigate the tension between the predictions of ΛCDM and the observations. For example, while the Hu-Sawicki version of f(R) increases this tension, the Starobinky model reduces it.

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