Exploring Parameter Constraints on Quintessential Dark Energy: The Exponential Model

Bozek, Brandon
Abrahamse, Augusta
Albrecht, Andreas
Barnard, Michael
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We present an analysis of a scalar field model of dark energy with an exponential potential using the Dark Energy Task Force (DETF) simulated data models. Using Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampling techniques we examine the ability of each simulated data set to constrain the parameter space of the exponential potential for data sets based on a cosmological constant and a specific exponential scalar field model. We compare our results with the constraining power calculated by the DETF using their ``$w_0-w_a$'' parametrization of the dark energy. We find that respective increases in constraining power from one stage to the next produced by our analysis give results consistent with DETF results. To further investigate the potential impact of future experiments, we also generate simulated data for an exponential model background cosmology which can not be distinguished from a cosmological constant at DETF ``Stage 2'', and show that for this cosmology good DETF Stage 4 data would exclude a cosmological constant by better than 3$\sigma$.
Comment: 11 pages including 10 figures