AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 23. Cosmology: The Fundamental Parameter
Oral, Monday, January 6, 2003, 10:00-11:30am, 608-609

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[23.07] Optimal Strategy for Dark Energy Search

Y. Wang (University of Oklahoma)

Most of the energy in the universe is of unknown nature to us. Observers/experimentalists face the historical opportunity to probe properties of this dark energy (the most important of which being the time-dependence of its density), and constrain the numerous plausible phenomenological models of dark energy that have been constructed.

Based on non-parametric estimates of dark energy density (without imposing the weak energy condition) from simulated type Ia supernova (SN Ia) data from feasible future SN Ia surveys, I show that obtaining as many SNe Ia as possible out to the highest possible redshift is of critical importance to our ability to differentiate between different dark energy models.

A ground-based supernova pencil beam survey on a dedicated 4m telescope, with a square degree field of view, can yield ~2000 type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) out to z~1.5 for an effective observational duration of one year [Wang, astro-ph/9806185, Astrophys. J. 531, 676 (2000)]. Together with low redshift SNe Ia from SN factories and surveys, this ground based survey can supplement SNAP in dark energy searches by freeing up SNAP to become a space-based SN pencil beam survey. The latter can obtain the maximum number of the highest redshift SNe Ia (say, out to z ~2), which are not accessible from the ground. This strategy (of a ground-based SN pencil beam survey to supplement SNAP) would boost the power of SNAP as a dark energy probe, and substantially increase the scientific return of dark energy searches at the modest additional cost of $20-30 million.

This Ground-Based Supernova Pencil Beam Survey is the ideal interim observational project before SNAP (a dark energy probe) and LSST (a dark matter probe) become reality in the next decade.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.nhn.ou.edu/~wang/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: wang@mail.nhn.ou.edu

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