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Dark energy constraints from ESPRESSO tests of the stability of fundamental couplings

A. C. O. Leite, C. J. A. P. Martins, P. Molaro, D. Corre, S. Cristiani

ESPRESSO is a high-resolution-ultra-stable spectrograph for the VLT, whose commissioning will start in 2017. One of its key science goals is to test the stability of nature's fundamental couplings with unprecedented accuracy and control of possible systematics. A total of 27 nights of the ESPRESSO Consortium's guaranteed time observations (GTO) will be spent in testing the stability of the fine-structure constant and other fundamental couplings. A set of 14 priority optimal targets have been selected for the GTO period. Here we briefly discuss the criteria underlying this selection and describe the selected targets, and then present detailed forecasts of the impact of these measurements on fundamental physics and cosmology, focusing on dark energy constraints and using future supernova type Ia surveys as a comparison point. We show how canonical reconstructions of the dark energy equation of state are improved by the extended redshift range enabled by these spectroscopic measurements, and also quantify additional improvements foreseen for a future ELT-HIRES instrument.

Physical Review D
Volume 94, Issue 12
2016 December

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Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia