Volume 635, March 2020
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||11 March 2020|
Distinguishing freezing and thawing dark energy models through measurements of the fine-structure constant
Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
e-mail: email@example.com, Carlos.Martins@astro.up.pt
2 Instituto de Telecomunicações, IST, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
3 Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, CAUP, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
4 ETSETB, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, C. Jordi Girona 1-3, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
5 ESEIAAT, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, C. Miquel Vives 27-37, 08222 Terrassa, Spain
Accepted: 17 January 2020
Mapping the behaviour of dark energy is a pressing task for observational cosmology. Phenomenological classification divides dynamical dark energy models into freezing and thawing, depending on whether the dark energy equation of state is approaching or moving away from w = p/ρ = −1. Moreover, in realistic dynamical dark energy models the dynamical degree of freedom is expected to couple to the electromagnetic sector, leading to variations of the fine-structure constant α. We discuss the feasibility of distinguishing between the freezing and thawing classes of models with current and forthcoming observational facilities and using a parametrisation of the dark energy equation of state, which can have either behaviour, introduced by Mukhanov as fiducial paradigm. We illustrate how freezing and thawing models lead to different redshift dependencies of α, and use a combination of current astrophysical observations and local experiments to constrain this class of models, improving the constraints on the key coupling parameter by more than a factor of two, despite considering a more extended parameter space than the one used in previous studies. We also briefly discuss the improvements expected from future facilities and comment on the practical limitations of this class of parametrisations. In particular, we show that sufficiently sensitive data can distinguish between freezing and thawing models, at least if one assumes that the relevant parameter space does not include phantom dark energy models.
Key words: dark energy / cosmology: theory / cosmology: observations / methods: statistical / cosmological parameters
© ESO 2020
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