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Published 2001 | public
Book Section - Chapter

The Second Peak: The Dark-Energy Density and the Cosmic Microwave Background


Supernova evidence for a negative-pressure dark energy (e. g., cosmological constant or quintessence) that contributes a fraction Ω_Λ ≃ 0.7 of closure density has been bolstered by the discrepancy between the total density, Ω_(tot) ≃ 1, suggested by the location of the first peak in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) power spectrum and the nonrelativistic-matter density Ω_m ≃ 0.3 obtained from dynamical measurements. Here we show that the impending identification of the location of the second peak in the CMB power spectrum will provide an immediate and independent probe of the cosmological constant. As an aside, we show how the measured height of the first peak probably already points toward a low matter density and places upper limits to the reionization optical depth and gravitational-wave amplitude.

Additional Information

© 2001 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. We thank P. Ullio for useful comments. We used CMBFAST [29] to calculate the power spectra. This work was supported in part by NSF AST-0096023, NASA NAGS-8506, and DoE DE-FG03-92-ER40701. AB also acknowledges the support of a Lee A. DuBridge Fellowship.

Additional details

August 21, 2023
October 19, 2023