“This new supernova result is exciting because this means we can really tie a bow on it and hand it out to the community and say, ‘This is our best attempt at explaining how the universe is working,’” said Dillon Brout, an assistant professor at Boston University who co-led the cosmological analysis of the DES Supernova sample with Vincenzi. “These constraints will now be the gold standard in supernova cosmology for quite some time.”
Even with more advanced dark energy experiments forthcoming, DES scientists emphasized the importance of having theoretical models to explain dark energy in addition to their experimental observations. “All of this is really unknown territory,” said Kron. “We do not have a theory that puts dark energy into a framework that relates to other physics that we do understand. For the time being, we in DES are working to constrain how dark energy works in practice with the expectation that, later on, some theories can be falsified.”
DES scientists continue to use the supernova results in more analyses by integrating them with results obtained with the other DES techniques. “Combining the DES supernova information with these other probes will even better inform our cosmological model,” said Davis.
“Even if we measure dark energy infinitely precisely, it doesn’t mean we know what it is,” she said. “Dark energy is still out there to be discovered.”
Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Ministry of Science and Education of Spain, the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, Funding Authority for Funding and Projects in Brazil, Carlos Chagas Filho Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development and the Ministry of Science and Technology, the German Research Foundation and the collaborating institutions in the Dark Energy Survey.
The U.S. National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab) operates the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and Vera C. Rubin Observatory (operated in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory). The research community is honored to have the opportunity to conduct research on Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón in Chile. We recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that these sites have to the local communities in Chile.
Based in part on data acquired at the Anglo-Australian Telescope for the Dark Energy Survey by OzDES. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which the AAT stands, the Gamilaraay people, and pay our respects to elders past and present.
Fermilab is America’s premier national laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research. A U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, Fermilab is located near Chicago, Illinois, and operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance LLC. Visit Fermilab’s website at www.fnal.gov and follow us on Twitter at @Fermilab.
The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.