Testing cosmological models with type Ic super luminous supernovae

Jun Jie Wei, Xue Feng Wu, Fulvio Melia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The use of type Ic super luminous supernovae (SLSNe Ic) to examine the cosmological expansion introduces a new standard ruler with which to test theoretical models. The sample suitable for this kind of work now includes 11 SLSNe Ic, which have thus far been used solely in tests involving the δ cold dark matter (δCDM) model. In this paper, we broaden the base of support for this new, important cosmic probe by using these observations to carry out a one-on-one comparison between the R h = ct and δCDM cosmologies. We individually optimize the parameters in each cosmological model by minimizing the X2 statistic. We also carry out Monte Carlo simulations based on these current SLSNe Ic measurements to estimate how large the sample would have to be in order to rule out either model at a ∼99.7% confidence level. The currently available sample indicates a likelihood of ∼70-80% that the R h = ct universe is the correct cosmology versus ∼20-30% for the standard model. These results are suggestive, though not yet compelling, given the current limited number of SLSNe Ic. We find that if the real cosmology is δCDM, a sample of ∼240 SLSNe Ic would be sufficient to rule out R h = ct at this level of confidence, while ∼480 SLSNe Ic would be required to rule out δCDM if the real universe is instead R h = ct. This difference in required sample size reflects the greater number of free parameters available to fit the data with δCDM. If such SLSNe Ic are commonly detected in the future, they could be a powerful tool for constraining the dark-energy equation of state in δCDM, and differentiating between this model and the R h = ct universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • cosmic background radiation
  • cosmological parameters
  • cosmology
  • cosmology: theory
  • distance scale
  • observations
  • supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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