Master thesis defence by Jeppe Trøst Nielsen

Title: Supernovae as Cosmological Probes

The cosmological standard model at present is widely accepted as containing mainly things we do not understand. In particular the appearance of a Cosmological Constant, or dark energy, is puzzling. This was first inferred from the Hubble diagram of a low number of Type Ia supernovae, and later corroborated by complementary cosmological probes.

Today, a much larger collection of supernovae is available, and here I perform a rigorous statistical analysis of this dataset. Taking into account how the supernovae are calibrated to be standard candles, we run into some subtleties in the analysis. To our surprise, this new dataset — about an order of bigger than the size of the original dataset — shows, under standard assumptions, only mild evidence of an accelerated universe.

Censor: Dr Maximillian Stritzinger (Aarhus U)