Windowing artefacts likely account for recent claimed detection of oscillating cosmic scale factor

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Using the Pantheon data set of Type Ia supernovae, a recent publication (R20 in this work) reports a 2σ detection of oscillations in the expansion history of the Universe. The study conducted by R20 is wholly worthwhile. However, we demonstrate that there is a > 10 per cent chance of statistical fluctuations in the Pantheon data producing a false oscillatory signal larger than the oscillatory signal that R20 report. Their results are a less than 2σ detection. Applying the R20 methodology to simulated Pantheon data, we determine that these oscillations could arise due to analysis artefacts. The uneven spacing of Type Ia supernovae in redshift space and the complicated analysis method of R20 impose a structured throughput function. When analysed with the R20 prescription, about 11 per cent of artificial CDM data sets produce a stronger oscillatory signal than the actual Pantheon data. Our results underscore the importance of understanding the false 'signals' that can be introduced by complicated data analyses.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brownsberger, SR; Stubbs, CW; Scolnic, DM

Published Date

  • November 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 498 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 5512 - 5516

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1365-2966

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0035-8711

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/mnras/staa2766

Citation Source

  • Scopus