Evidence for a decelerating cosmic expansion from supernova cosmology
Supernova (SN) cosmology is based on the assumption that the width-luminosity relation (WLR) in the type Ia SN luminosity standardization would not vary with progenitor age. Unlike this expectation, recent age datings of stellar populations in host galaxies have shown significant correlations between progenitor age and Hubble residual (HR). It was not clear, however, how this correlation arises from the SN luminosity standardization process, and how this would impact the cosmological result. Here we show that this correlation originates from a strong progenitor age dependence of the WLR and color-luminosity relation (CLR), in the sense that SNe from younger progenitors are fainter each at given light-curve parameters x1 and c. This is reminiscent of Baade's discovery of two Cepheid period-luminosity relations, and, as such, causes a serious systematic bias with redshift in SN cosmology. We illustrate that the differences between the high-z and low-z SNe in the WLR and CLR, and in HR after the standardization, are fully comparable to those between the correspondingly young and old SNe at intermediate redshift, indicating that the observed dimming of SNe with redshift is most likely an artifact of over-correction in the luminosity standardization. When this systematic bias with redshift is properly taken into account, there is no evidence left for an accelerating universe, and the SN data now support a decelerating cosmic expansion. Since the SN cosmology has long been considered as the most direct evidence for an accelerating universe with dark energy, this finding poses serious questions to the current concordance model.