A test of the nature of cosmic acceleration using galaxy redshift distortions

Abstract

Observations of distant supernovae indicate that the Universe is now in a phase of accelerated expansion1,2 the physical cause of which is a mystery3. Formally, this requires the inclusion of a term acting as a negative pressure in the equations of cosmic expansion, accounting for about 75 per cent of the total energy density in the Universe. The simplest option for this ‘dark energy’ corresponds to a ‘cosmological constant’, perhaps related to the quantum vacuum energy. Physically viable alternatives invoke either the presence of a scalar field with an evolving equation of state, or extensions of general relativity involving higher-order curvature terms or extra dimensions4,5,6,7,8. Although they produce similar expansion rates, different models predict measurable differences in the growth rate of large-scale structure with cosmic time9. A fingerprint of this growth is provided by coherent galaxy motions, which introduce a radial anisotropy in the clustering pattern reconstructed by galaxy redshift surveys10. Here we report a measurement of this effect at a redshift of 0.8. Using a new survey of more than 10,000 faint galaxies11,12, we measure the anisotropy parameter β = 0.70 ± 0.26, which corresponds to a growth rate of structure at that time of f = 0.91 ± 0.36. This is consistent with the standard cosmological-constant model with low matter density and flat geometry, although the error bars are still too large to distinguish among alternative origins for the accelerated expansion. The correct origin could be determined with a further factor-of-ten increase in the sampled volume at similar redshift.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Estimate of the degree of distortion induced by coherent motions on the measured large-scale distribution of galaxies at high redshift.
Figure 2: Estimates of the growth rate of cosmic structure compared to predictions from various theoretical models.

References

  1. 1

    Riess, A. G. et al. Observational evidence from supernovae for an accelerating universe and a cosmological constant. Astron. J. 116, 1009–1038 (1998)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Perlmutter, S. et al. Measurements of omega and lambda from 42 high-redshift supernovae. Astrophys. J. 517, 565–586 (1999)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Turner, M. S. & Huterer, D. Cosmic acceleration, dark energy and fundamental physics. J. Phys. Soc. Jpn 76, 111015 (2007)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Wetterich, C. An asymptotically vanishing time-dependent cosmological “constant”. Astron. Astrophys. 301, 321–328 (1995)

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Amendola, L. Perturbations in a coupled scalar field cosmology. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 312, 521–530 (2000)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Carroll, S. M., Duvvuri, V., Trodden, M. & Turner, M. S. Is cosmic speed-up due to new gravitational physics? Phys. Rev. D 70, 043528 (2004)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Dvali, G., Gabadadze, G. & Porrati, M. 4D gravity on a brane in 5D Minkowski space. Phys. Lett. B 485, 208–214 (2000)

    ADS  MathSciNet  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Capozziello, S., Cardone, V. F. & Troisi, A. Reconciling dark energy models with f(R) theories. Phys. Rev. D 71, 043503 (2005)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Linder, E. V. Cosmic growth history and expansion history. Phys. Rev. D 72, 043529 (2005)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Peacock, J. A. et al. A measurement of the cosmological mass density from clustering in the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey. Nature 410, 169–173 (2001)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Le Fevre, O. et al. The VIMOS VLT deep survey. First epoch VVDS-deep survey: 11,564 spectra with 17.5 ≤ IAB ≤ 24, and the redshift distribution over 0 ≤ z ≤ 5. Astron. Astrophys. 439, 845–862 (2005)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Garilli, B. et al. The VIMOS-VLT Deep Survey: first data release of the IAB<22.5 wide survey. Astron. Astrophys. (submitted)

  13. 13

    Lue, R., Scoccimarro, R. & Starkman, G. D. Probing Newton’s constant on vast scales: DGP gravity, cosmic acceleration and large-scale structure. Phys. Rev. D 69, 124015 (2004)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Wang, L. & Steinhardt, P. J. Cluster abundance constraints for cosmological models with a time-varying, spatially inhomogeneous energy component with negative pressure. Astrophys. J. 508, 483–490 (1998)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Amendola, L., Quercellini, C. & Giallongo, E. Constraints on perfect fluid and scalar dark energy models from future redshift surveys. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 357, 429–439 (2005)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Cooray, A., Huterer, D. & Baumann, D. Growth rate of large-scale structure as a powerful probe of dark energy. Phys. Rev. D 69, 027301 (2004)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Davis, M. & Peebles, P. J. E. A survey of galaxy redshifts. V. The two-point position and velocity correlations. Astrophys. J. 267, 465–482 (1983)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Kaiser, N. Clustering in real space and in redshift space. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 227, 1–21 (1987)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Hamilton, A. J. S. in The Evolving Universe Vol. 231 185–276 (ASSL Series, Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1998)

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Verde, L. et al. The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey: the bias of galaxies and the density of the Universe. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 335, 432–440 (2002)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Hawkins, E. et al. The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey: correlation functions, peculiar velocities and the matter density of the Universe. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 346, 78–96 (2003)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    De Lucia, G. & Blaizot, J. The hierarchical formation of the brightest cluster galaxies. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 375, 2–14 (2006)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Marinoni, C. et al. The VIMOS VLT Deep Survey. Evolution of the non-linear galaxy bias up to z = 1.5. Astron. Astrophys. 442, 801–825 (2005)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Spergel, D. N. et al. Three-year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) observations: implications for cosmology. Astrophys. J. 170 (Suppl.). 377–408 (2007)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Borgani, S. et al. Measuring Ωm with the ROSAT Deep Cluster Survey. Astrophys. J. 561, 13–21 (2001)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26

    Schuecker, P., Bohringer, H., Collins, C. A. & Guzzo, L. The REFLEX galaxy cluster survey. VII. Ωm and s8 from cluster abundance and large-scale clustering. Astron. Astrophys. 398, 867–877 (2003)

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    Ross, N. P. et al. The 2dF-SDSS LRG and QSO Survey: the 2-point correlation function and redshift-space distortions. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 381, 573–588 (2007)

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

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

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

L.G. thanks M. Longair, C. Baugh, C. Porciani, P. Norberg, J. Peacock, A. Szalay and Y. Wang for discussions, S. White for suggestions and encouragement and L. Amendola, C. Di Porto and E. Linder for providing model predictions in electronic form. G. Pratt, S. White and E. Linder are gratefully acknowledged for reading the manuscript. L.G. acknowledges the support and hospitality of MPE, MPA and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) during this work. This research has been developed within the framework of the VVDS consortium and has been partially supported by the CNRS-INSU and its Programme National de Cosmologie (France), and by PRIN-INAF 2005. The VLT-VIMOS observations were carried out on guaranteed time allocated by the ESO to the VIRMOS consortium, under a contractual agreement between the CNRS of France, heading a consortium of French and Italian institutes, and the ESO, to design, manufacture and test the VIMOS instrument.

Author Contributions All authors worked on the preparation, observation, reduction and measurement of the spectroscopic data using codes developed by B.G., D.B., R.S., M.S., P.F., S.P. and A.Z. Spectroscopy was based on imaging data procured and processed by H.J.McC., S.F., O.L.F., M.R. and A.I. and organized in a database by V.L.B. and L.T. L.G., B.M., A.P., O.L.F., S.d.l.T. and M.P. developed the codes to measure galaxy correlations. M.P., E.B., L.G., C.M., L.M. and K.D. modelled the measurements and performed the Monte Carlo tests. J.B. and G.D.L. built the mock samples that were processed to mimic the VVDS by B.M., B.G. and P.M. This paper is dedicated to P. Schuecker.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to L. Guzzo.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

The file contains Supplementary Notes with additional references and Supplementary Figures 1-2 with Legends. (PDF 1665 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Guzzo, L., Pierleoni, M., Meneux, B. et al. A test of the nature of cosmic acceleration using galaxy redshift distortions. Nature 451, 541–544 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06555

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

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.

Search

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