Testing homogeneity with the fossil record of galaxies

A. Heavens, R. Jimenez, Roy Maartens

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The standard Friedmann model of cosmology is based on the Copernican Principle, i.e. the assumption of a homogeneous background on which structure forms via perturbations. Homogeneity underpins both general relativistic and modified gravity models and is central to the way in which we interpret observations of the CMB and the galaxy distribution. It is therefore important to probe homogeneity via observations. We describe a test based on the fossil record of distant galaxies: if we can reconstruct key intrinsic properties of galaxies as functions of proper time along their worldlines, we can compare such properties at the same proper time for our galaxy and others. We achieve this by computing the lookback time using radial Baryon Acoustic Oscillations, and the time along galaxy world line using stellar physics, allowing us to probe homogeneity, in principle anywhere inside the past light cone. Agreement in the results would be an important consistency test — although it would not in itself prove homogeneity. Any significant deviation in the results however would signal a breakdown of homogeneity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)035
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


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