Statistical Estimation the Age of the Universe
Jørgen H. Petersen, Klaus K. Holst, Esben Budtz-Jørgensen
Department of Biostatistics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

The Hubble constant enters big bang cosmology by quantifying the expansion rate of the universe. Accurate estimation of the Hubble constant comes distance and red-shift measurements from Type Ia supernovae. It is shown that the standard statistical technique for estimating Hubble's constant is statistically inconsistent and results in a systematically too low value. The preliminary results were published in the november 2010 issue of The Astrophysical Journal 2010 (vol 723, 766-68). The underestimation is a statistical artefact resulting from not taking the measurement error in the distance measurements into account. It is shown how to estimate Hubble's constant consistently resulting in a change in estimate of 1.2%. The new estimate implies that the universe is 170 million years younger than previously thought.

Keywords: Hubble constant; Unbiased estimation; Supernovae

Biography: Associate professor in Biostatistics