Ongoing Hubble Constant Poll

Here are two interesting plots that I got via Renée Hložek on Twitter from the recent swathe of papers from Planck The first shows the `tension’ between Planck’s parameter estimates `direct’ measurements of the Hubble Constant (as exemplified by Riess et al. 2018); see my recent post for a discussion of the latter. Planck actually produces joint estimates for a set of half-a-dozen basic parameters from which estimates of others, including the Hubble constant, can be derived. The plot  below shows the two-dimensional region that is allowed by Planck if both the Hubble constant (H0) and the matter density parameter (ΩM) are allowed to vary within the limits allowed by various observations. The tightest contours come from Planck but other cosmological probes provide useful constraints that are looser but consistent; `BAO’ refers to `Baryon Acoustic Oscillations‘, and `Pantheon’ is a sample of Type Ia supernovae.

You can see that the Planck measurements (blue) mean that a high value of the Hubble constant requires a low matter density but the allowed contour does not really overlap with the grey shaded horizontal regions. For those of you who like such things, the discrepancy is about 3.5σ..

Another plot you might find interesting is this one:

The solid line shows how the Hubble `constant’ varies with redshift in the standard cosmological model; H0 is the present value of a redshift-dependent parameter H(z) that measures the rate at which the Universe is expanding. You will see that the Hubble parameter is larger at high redshift, but decreases as the expansion of the Universe slows down, until a redshift of around 0.5 and then it increases, indicating that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating.  Direct determinations of the expansion rate at high redshift are difficult, hence the large error bars, but the important feature is the gap between the direct determination at z=0 and what the standard model predicts. If the Riess et al. 2018 measurements are right, the expansion of the Universe seems to have been accelerating more rapidly than the standard model predicts.

So after that little update here’s a little poll I’ve been running for a while on whether people think this apparent discrepancy is serious or not. I’m interested to see whether these latest findings change the voting!

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Ongoing Hubble Constant Poll”

  1. The story is so good that I have to tell it again. Back when the debate was between 50 and 100, there was also a debate about the time delay between the two images in the first gravitational-lens system discovered, 0957+561. The time delay is inversely proportional to the Hubble constant, with Press et al. (yes, that one) favouring a higher value (lower Hubble constant) and the Hamburg/Tartu group a lower value (and hence higher Hubble constant). (Press lost in the end and left astrophysics; I don’t know if there is a connection. 😐 ) At the gravitational-lens conference in Liège in 1993, during this debate, Paul Schechter cried out from the audience “Where’s the problem? They agree at three sigma!” 😀

  2. As someone who grew up in the era when the argument was whether it was 50 or 100, and there were even people floating the idea that it was 25, I think the agreement in that plot is excellent.

  3. […] from Paper 6 is H0 = 67.77 +/- 1.30 km s-1 Mpc-1. This maintains the tension with Planck I’ve blogged about before, and gives me an excuse to continue my online […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: