Class #13 (Feb. 19) Reading Questions - The Dark Side of the Universe


Chapter 11


1.  What is the vacuum energy and how might this be this related to the accelerating expansion of the universe?


2.  What are the fine-tuning and coincidence problems?


3. What is the anthropic cosmological principle?


4. What are quintessence and k-essence?  Is there anyway to actually test these and other theories of dark energy.



Chapter 12


5.  The Lambda-CDM model is currently considered the "Standard Model" of cosmology.  What are two observations that are inconsistent with this model?


6. What are baryon oscillations and how can these be used to test the supernova predictions of an accelerating universe?


7.  Explain what is being shown in the figures on pages 173 and 174 (which combine data from the Super Nova Legacy Survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey). What does the best fit value for the parameter "w" suggest about the identity of dark energy.




Your Question:  Please give a well formulated question that you have regarding the material covered in this reading assignment.