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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Cosmological and astrophysical constraints on tachyon dark energy models

C. J. A. P. Martins, F. Moucherek


Rolling tachyon field models are among the candidates suggested as explanations for the recent acceleration of the Universe. In these models the field is expected to interact with gauge fields and lead to variations of the fine-structure constant α. Here we take advantage of recent observational progress and use a combination of background cosmological observations of Type Ia supernovas and astrophysical and local measurements of α to improve constraints on this class of models. We show that the constraints on α imply that the field dynamics must be extremely slow, leading to a constraint of the present-day dark energy equation of state (1+w0)<2.4×10−7 at the 99.7% confidence level. Therefore current and forthcoming standard background cosmology observational probes can't distinguish this class of models from a cosmological constant, while detections of α variations could possibly do so since they would have a characteristic redshift dependence.

Physical Review D
Volume 93
June 2016

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Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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