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Cosmological Effects of Scalar-Photon Couplings: Dark Energy and Varying-α Models

A. Avgoustidis, C. J. A. P. Martins, A. M. R. V. L. Monteiro, P. E. Vielzeuf, G. Luzzi

We study cosmological models involving scalar fields coupled to radiation and discuss their effect on the redshift evolution of the cosmic microwave background temperature, focusing on links with varying fundamental constants and dynamical dark energy. We quantify how allowing for the coupling of scalar fields to photons, and its important effect on luminosity distances, weakens current and future constraints on cosmological parameters. In particular, for evolving dark energy models, joint constraints on the dark energy equation of state combining BAO radial distance and SN luminosity distance determinations, will be strongly dominated by BAO. Thus, to fully exploit future SN data one must also independently constrain photon number non-conservation arising from the possible coupling of SN photons to the dark energy scalar field. We show how observational determinations of the background temperature at different redshifts can, in combination with distance measures data, set tight constraints on physical processes in the early universe involving the interaction of scalar fields with photons, thus breaking this degeneracy. We discuss prospects for future improvements, particularly in the context of Euclid and the E-ELT and show that Euclid can, even on its own, provide useful dark energy constraints while allowing for photon number non-conservation.

Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Volume 6, Page 62_1
2014 June

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia