Future dark energy probes and their robustness to systematics

author: Marisa Cristina March, University of Sussex
published: Jan. 23, 2012,   recorded: December 2011,   views: 3945


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We extend the Figure of Merit formalism usually adopted to quantify the statistical performance of future dark energy probes to assess the robustness of a future mission to plausible systematic bias. We introduce a new robustness Figure of Merit which can be computed in the Fisher Matrix formalism given arbitrary systematic biases in the observable quantities. We argue that robustness to systematics is an important new quantity that should be taken into account when optimizing future surveys. We illustrate our formalism with toy examples, and apply it to future type Ia supernova (SNIa) and baryonic acoustic oscillation (BAO) surveys. For the simplified systematic biases that we consider, we find that SNIa are a somewhat more robust probe of dark energy parameters than the BAO. We trace this back to a geometrical alignement of systematic bias direction with statistical degeneracy directions in the dark energy parameter space.

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