Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Info on Supernova Acceleration

  1. Dec 31, 2015 #1
    I have a simple question regarding the acceleration of the universe.

    My textbook says that the acceleration was discovered through the supernova's light appearing dimmer than expected. In a constant expanding universe, it would be brighter.

    My textbook also tells me that the supernova was extremely far away, and so I'm wondering that shouldn't because it being so far away that it should be expected that it's very dim? The stretching that's occurring due to the distance would have the same affect, would it not?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2015 #2

    Orodruin

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The distances to the supernovae are of course accounted for when stating that far away supernovae are dimmer than expected in a non-accelerating universe.
     
  4. Dec 31, 2015 #3
    Thank you.

    I wasn't questioning their discovery. I was kind of just checking up to make sure that I understood it! Appreciate the feedback in such a fast manner.
     
  5. Dec 31, 2015 #4

    Jorrie

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The operative word is "expected". The 'dimness' expectation was based on decelerating expansion. The most likely reason for it to be dimmer than the expectation was lack of deceleration and quite possible acceleration of the expansion. It put the supernova at a larger comoving distance than a decelerating model would predict. A number of other independent observations later confirmed that the most likely cause is acceleration of expansion (positive ##\ddot a##).
     
  6. Jan 3, 2016 #5
    Deceleration has nothing to do with it. The 'expected' value was based on the FLRW metric, which is a linear relation. People suspected the universe was decelerating, but there was no 'law' to my knowledge that created an expected value.
     
  7. Jan 3, 2016 #6

    Jorrie

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    How does the 'gravity law' of GR sound as a basis? The FLRW metric represents an exact solution of the Einstein field equations and without dark energy, the expansion decelerates. I do not know what you meant by 'linear relation', but FLRW does not give linear cosmic expansion over time.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2016 #7
    In the graph below, the blue line represents FLRW without Λ, which was our 'expected' value before 1998. After the discovery that SNe Ia did not follow this relation, we added "Einstein's Greatest Blunder" back into the metric and got the red line. While you are technically right, practically the exponent on this curve is 1.1, making it a (near) linear relation with red shift.

    Luminous Distance vs Red Shift.png
     
  9. Jan 3, 2016 #8

    Jorrie

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yes, luminosity distance vs. redshift gives a near linear relation without Lambda, but the same is not true for the expansion curve of scale factor vs. time. The latter is the context for decelerated or accelerated expansion, contrary to what you stated before.
     
  10. Jan 3, 2016 #9

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Just to emphasize what you say very clearly here:
    We could get a curve for scale factor as a function of time, to show the deceleration you get from GR (our "law of gravity") e.g. with Λ = 0, so that the spatially flat case is with Ωm = 1. Observation supports near spatial flatness, so that is the case to look at---the dark dashed curve labeled (1,0) here:
    figure14.jpg
    AFAICS what the other poster pointed out, about near LINEAR relation between present-day observation of luminosity distance versus redshift is MEANINGLESS here. It does not give us the expansion history. If we look at the expansion history as predicted by GR (via the simplified version FRW) we can see the deceleration clearly enough.
    The figure is from Lineweaver's 2003 article "Inflation and the CMB"
    We could also get plots of scale factor history a(t) under different assumptions about Lambda by using Lightcone calculator since that embodies the standard FRW-based model. I should try that, just for practice.
     
  11. Jan 3, 2016 #10

    Chronos

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This points out the difficulties inherent to getting the parameters right in the FLRW model and why using a variety of measurement approaches is important. Even tiny inaccuracies propogate exponentially when extrapolated across billions of years. The approach being used - continue to constrain the parameters as more and better data emerges - appears entirely reasonable.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Info on Supernova Acceleration
  1. Supernova' Spectrum (Replies: 12)

  2. Supernova calibration (Replies: 3)

Loading...