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Reconstructing the dark sector interaction with LISA

Mar 21, 2017

We perform a forecast analysis of the ability of the LISA space-based interferometer to reconstruct the dark sector interaction using gravitational wave (GW) standard sirens at high redshift.

Rong-Gen Cai, Nicola Tamanini, Tao Yang

We employ Gaussian process methods to reconstruct the distance-redshift relation in a model independent way. We adopt simulated catalogues of standard sirens given by merging massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) visible by LISA, with an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart detectable by future telescopes. The catalogues are constructed considering three different astrophysical scenarios for the evolution of MBHB mergers based on the semi-analytic model of E. Barausse (2012). We first use these standard siren datasets to assess the potential of LISA in reconstructing a possible interaction between vacuum dark energy and dark matter. Then we combine the LISA cosmological data with supernovae data simulated for the Dark Energy Survey (DES). We consider two scenarios distinguished by the time duration of the LISA mission: 5 and 10 years. Using only LISA standard siren data, the dark sector interaction can be well reconstructed from redshift z∼1 to z∼3 (5 yr) and z∼1 up to z∼5 (10 yr), though the reconstruction is inefficient at lower redshift. When combined with the DES datasets, the interaction is well reconstructed in the whole redshift region from z∼0 to z∼3 (5 yr) and z∼0 to z∼5 (10 yr). MBHB standard sirens can thus be used to constrain the dark sector interaction at redshift ranges not reachable by usual supernovae datasets which probe only the z≲1.5 range. GW standard sirens will not only constitute a complementary and alternative way, with respect to familiar EM observations, to probe the cosmic expansion, but will also provide new tests to constrain possible deviations from the standard ΛCDM dynamics, especially at high redshift.