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Physical Review Letters


Early dark energy (EDE) that behaves like a cosmological constant at early times (redshifts z≳3000) and then dilutes away like radiation or faster at later times can solve the Hubble tension. In these models, the sound horizon at decoupling is reduced resulting in a larger value of the Hubble parameter H0 inferred from the cosmic microwave background (CMB). We consider two physical models for this EDE, one involving an oscillating scalar field and another a slowly rolling field. We perform a detailed calculation of the evolution of perturbations in these models. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo search of the parameter space for the EDE parameters, in conjunction with the standard cosmological parameters, identifies regions in which H0 inferred from Planck CMB data agrees with the SH0ES local measurement. In these cosmologies, current baryon acoustic oscillation and supernova data are described as successfully as in the cold dark matter model with a cosmological constant, while the fit to Planck data is slightly improved. Future CMB and large-scale-structure surveys will further probe this scenario.


This work is freely available courtesy of the American Physical Society.

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