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Deceleration Parameter Computation

  1. Oct 18, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone,

    Can anyone point me into the right direction on how to compute the deceleration parameter (##q_0##) for a radiation dominated universe?

    I know that q0 is given by

    ##q_0=-\frac{\ddot{a}(t_0)}{a(t_0) H^2 (t_0)} = - \frac{\ddot{a}(t_0) a(t_0)}{\dot{a}^2(t_0)}=\frac{\Omega_0}{2}##​

    So for a radiation dominated universe, we have ##\omega = + \frac{1}{3}##. And ρ~1/a4, and a~t1/2. I'm not sure how to relate this to that equation.

    My notes say ##\Omega _{rad} = 8.2 \times 10^-5## but I'm not sure how this was calculated. How do I compute Ω0=ρ/ρcrit in this case? I know that ρcrit=3H2/8πG, but what is the density ρ? :confused:

    Using that value I get the following but I'm not sure if it's correct:

    ##q_0 = \frac{\Omega_0}{2} = \frac{8.2 \times 10^-5}{2} = 4.1 \times 10^{-5}##.

    I couldn't find any info on this computation online. So any help is greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
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  3. Oct 18, 2013 #2

    bapowell

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    You have [itex]a(t)[/itex], and since [itex]H(t) = \dot{a}(t)/a(t)[/itex] and [itex]q(t)[/itex] is fully determined by [itex]a(t)[/itex], you should be good to go...

    Your value for [itex]\Omega_{rad}[/itex] is the current radiation density in the actual universe, which isn't radiation dominated and not appropriate for use with [itex]w=1/3[/itex], etc.
     
  4. Oct 19, 2013 #3
    Thank you for the clarification regarding ##\Omega##, it makes perfect sense now.

    But I'm still not sure how the calculation goes (my book lacks any worked problems) :confused:

    Since for a radiation dominated universe we had the scale factor a~t1/2, with its time derivatives ##\dot{a}=\frac{1}{2 t^{1/2}}##, and ##\ddot{a}=\frac{-1}{4t^{3/2}}##, then

    ##q_0 = \frac{\ddot{a}}{a \left( \dot{a}/a \right)} = \frac{-1}{16t^{6/2}}##

    Is this correct?
     
  5. Oct 19, 2013 #4

    Chalnoth

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    A radiation-dominated universe is one where [itex]\Omega_{rad}[/itex] is very close to one. I haven't checked your math at all, but hopefully that helps you get the right answer.
     
  6. Oct 19, 2013 #5

    George Jones

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    A radiation-dominated universe has positive deceleration (negative acceleration).

    You forgot the initial minus sign.
     
  7. Oct 19, 2013 #6
    Thank you very much. :)
     
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