Cosmic Chronometers: Constraining the Equation of State of Dark Energy. I: H(z) Measurements

Stern, Daniel
Jimenez, Raul
Verde, Licia
Kamionkowski, Marc
Stanford, S. Adam
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We present new determinations of the cosmic expansion history from red-envelope galaxies. We have obtained for this purpose high-quality spectra with the Keck-LRIS spectrograph of red-envelope galaxies in 24 galaxy clusters in the redshift range 0.2 < z < 1.0. We complement these Keck spectra with high-quality, publicly available archival spectra from the SPICES and VVDS surveys. We improve over our previous expansion history measurements in Simon et al. (2005) by providing two new determinations of the expansion history: H(z) = 97 +- 62 km/sec/Mpc at z = 0.5 and H(z) = 90 +- 40 km/sec/Mpc at z = 0.8. We discuss the uncertainty in the expansion history determination that arises from uncertainties in the synthetic stellar-population models. We then use these new measurements in concert with cosmic-microwave-background (CMB) measurements to constrain cosmological parameters, with a special emphasis on dark-energy parameters and constraints to the curvature. In particular, we demonstrate the usefulness of direct H(z) measurements by constraining the dark- energy equation of state parameterized by w0 and wa and allowing for arbitrary curvature. Further, we also constrain, using only CMB and H(z) data, the number of relativistic degrees of freedom to be 4 +- 0.5 and their total mass to be < 0.2 eV, both at 1-sigma.
Comment: Submitted to JCAP
Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics