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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Biased Cosmology: Pivots, Parameters, and Figures of Merit


In the quest for precision cosmology, one must ensure that the cosmology is accurate as well. We discuss figures of merit for determining from observations whether the dark energy is a cosmological constant or dynamical, with special attention to the best determined equation of state value, at the ``pivot'' or decorrelation redshift. We show this is not necessarily the best lever on testing consistency with the cosmological constant, and moreover is subject to bias. The standard parametrization of w(a)=w_0+w_a(1-a) by contrast is quite robust, as tested by extensions to higher order parametrizations and modified gravity. Combination of complementary probes gives strong immunization against inaccurate, but precise, cosmology.

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