The Hubble constant in the era of precision cosmology

Speaker: 
Lucas Macri (Texas A&M University)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-09-26 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
Having settled the decades-long bitter debate over the value of the Hubble constant, research on the Extragalactic Distance Scale has seen a remarkable transformation over the past decade. The focus is now on a proper accounting of all sources of uncertainty (specially systematics) and the development of new techniques to further increase the accuracy and precision in the measurement of H_0 . What is the motivation for further work on the Hubble constant? Measuring H_0 at the percent level will significantly improve the constraints on the equation of state of dark energy and other cosmological parameters, and may reveal physics beyond the standard LCDM model. The current uncertainty on H_0 is 2.4% [1] and a 1% measurement should be achievable by the end of the decade based on /Gaia/ parallaxes and observations with the /James Webb/ /Space Telescope/. I will review recent progress in the field, including near-infrared observations of Galactic and extragalactic Cepheids, the absolute calibration of the luminosity of type Ia SNe, and comparison of our local measurement of H_0 with predictions from baryon acoustic oscillations and the cosmic microwave background. I will discuss future steps using /HST/, /Gaia/ and /JWST/. [1]: arxiv.org/abs/1604.01424
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