A measurement of the cosmic expansion within our lifetime

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The most exciting future observation in cosmology will feature a monitoring of the cosmic expansion in real time, unlike anything that has ever been attempted before. This campaign will uncover crucial physical properties of the various constituents in the universe, and perhaps answer a simpler question concerning whether or not the cosmic expansion is even accelerating. An unambiguous yes/no response to this query will significantly impact cosmology, of course, but also the standard model of particle physics. Here, we discuss - in a straightforward way - how to understand the so-called 'redshift drift' sought by this campaign, and why its measurement will help us refine the standard-model parameters if the answer is 'yes.' A 'no' answer, on the other hand, could be more revolutionary, in the sense that it might provide a resolution of several long-standing problems and inconsistencies in our current cosmological models. An outcome of zero redshift drift, for example, would obviate the need for a cosmological constant and render inflation completely redundant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035601
JournalEuropean Journal of Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


  • ELT
  • SKA
  • cosmology: theory
  • gravitation
  • redshift drift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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