Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

An evolution free test for non-zero cosmological constant


The cosmological constant has recently been questioned because of difficulties in fitting the standard Λ=0 cosmological models to observational data1,2. We propose here a cosmological test that is a sensitive estimator of Λ. This test is unusual in that it involves no correction for evolutionary effects. We present here the idealised conception of the method, and hint at the statistical problem that its realisation entails.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Gunn, J. E. & Tinsley, B. M. Nature 257, 454 (1975).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Tinsley, B. M. Nature 273, 208 (1978).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Weinberg, S. Gravitation and Cosmology (Wiley, New York, 1972).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Misner, C. W., Thorne, K. P. & Wheeler, J. A. Gravitation (Freeman, San Francisco, 1973).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Gunn, J. E. in Observational Cosmology (eds Gunn, J. E., Longair, M. S. & Rees, M. J.) (Geneva Observatory Publications, 1978).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Silk, J. & White, S. D. M. Astrophys. J. Lett. 226, L103 (1978).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Hauser, M. G. & Peebles, P. J. E. Astrophys. J. 185, 757 (1973).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Seldner, M. & Peebles, P. J. E. Astrophys. J. 215, 703 (1977).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Zel'dovich, Ya. B. in IAU Symp. No. 79 (ed. Longair, M. S.) 395 (Reidel, Dordrecht, 1979).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Alcock, C., Paczyński, B. An evolution free test for non-zero cosmological constant. Nature 281, 358–359 (1979).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing