Tests and Problems of the Standard Model in Cosmology

Abstract

The main foundations of the standard \(\Lambda \)CDM model of cosmology are that: (1) the redshifts of the galaxies are due to the expansion of the Universe plus peculiar motions; (2) the cosmic microwave background radiation and its anisotropies derive from the high energy primordial Universe when matter and radiation became decoupled; (3) the abundance pattern of the light elements is explained in terms of primordial nucleosynthesis; and (4) the formation and evolution of galaxies can be explained only in terms of gravitation within a inflation + dark matter + dark energy scenario. Numerous tests have been carried out on these ideas and, although the standard model works pretty well in fitting many observations, there are also many data that present apparent caveats to be understood with it. In this paper, I offer a review of these tests and problems, as well as some examples of alternative models.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This has indeed not been found yet, since the measurements of the cross-correlation of CMBR maps with galaxy surveys are not significant; see Ref. [188] and references therein.

  2. 2.

    For instance, the number of (CMBR) photons is much (\(10^9\) times) higher than the number of cosmic baryons, thus indicating that cosmic evolution violates baryon number conservation; a heavy baryon–antibaryon annihilation? Curiously, the CMBR photon density implies that the mean distance of photons is 0.2 cm, which, to the surprise of some, is just about identical to the maximum wavelength of the CMBR black body emission [194].

  3. 3.

    Plus many other parameters which introduce second-order changes. And, even so, there is a degeneracy in the solutions with different values of \(H_0\) and \(\Omega _\Lambda \): CMBR data, and the large scale structure of galaxies could be reproduced without explicitly requesting the existence of dark energy [209] i.e. with \(\Lambda =0\). This degeneracy is broken by adding cosmological information from other sources, for instance, from SNIa data. In order to fit the temperature–polarization cross power spectrum and the polarization–polarization power spectrum [208], one would need an extra parameter (optical depth), so a total of at least seven free parameters are necessary. Roughly speaking, the relationship between temperature-temperature and the polarization–temperature, or polarization–polarization power spectra is expected since they are different ways of seeing the same light with different filters.

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Acknowledgements

Thanks are given to Fulvio Melia and the two anonymous referees for comments on a draft of this paper that helped to improve it. Thanks are given to Terence J. Mahoney for proof-reading of the text.

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López-Corredoira, M. Tests and Problems of the Standard Model in Cosmology. Found Phys 47, 711–768 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10701-017-0073-8

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Keywords

  • Cosmology
  • Observational cosmology
  • Origin formation and abundances of the elements
  • Dark matter
  • Dark energy
  • Superclusters and large-scale structure of the Universe

Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 85A40
  • 85-03