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Exploring Dark Energy with SNAP

Abstract

The accelerating expansion of the Universe is one of the most surprising and potentially profound discoveries of modern cosmology. Measuring the acceleration well enough to meaningfully constrain interesting physical models requires improvements an order of magnitude beyond on-going and near-term experiments. The Supernova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) has been conceived as a powerful yet simple experiment to use Type Ia supernovae and weak gravitational lensing to reach this level of accuracy. As fundamentally different causes for the acceleration map into very small differences in observational parameters for all relevant cosmological methods, control of systematics is especially important and so has been built into the SNAP mission design from the very beginning.

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