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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Testing the cosmological constant as a candidate for dark energy


It may be difficult to single out the best model of dark energy on the basis of the existing and planned cosmological observations, because many different models can lead to similar observational consequences. However, each particular model can be studied and either found consistent with observations or ruled out. In this paper, we concentrate on the possibility to test and rule out the simplest and by far the most popular of the models of dark energy, the theory described by general relativity with positive vacuum energy (the cosmological constant). We evaluate the conditions under which this model could be ruled out by the future observations made by the Supernova/Acceleration Probe SNAP (both for supernovae and weak lensing) and by the Planck Surveyor cosmic microwave background satellite.

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