Evolution of dark energy reconstructed from the latest observations

Yuting Wang, Levon Pogosian, Gong-Bo Zhao, Alex Zucca

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We reconstruct evolution of the dark energy (DE) density using a nonparametric Bayesian approach from a combination of latest observational data. We caution against parameterizing DE in terms of its equation of state as it can be singular in modified gravity models, and using it introduces a bias preventing negative effective DE densities. We find a 3.7σ preference for an evolving effective DE density with interesting features. For example, it oscillates around the ΛCDM prediction at z ≤ 0.7, and could be negative at z ≥ 2.3; dark energy can be pressure-less at multiple redshifts, and a short period of cosmic deceleration is allowed at 0.1 ≤ z ≤ 0.2. We perform the reconstruction for several choices of the prior, as well as a evidence-weighted reconstruction. We find that some of the dynamical features, such as the oscillatory behaviour of the DE density, are supported by the Bayesian evidence, which is a first detection of a dynamical DE with a positive Bayesian evidence. The evidence-weighted reconstruction prefers a dynamical DE at a (2.5 ± 0.06)σ significance level.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL8
Number of pages8
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2018


  • astro-ph.CO


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