Hubble constant and dark energy inferred from free-form determined time delay distances

Time delays between multiple images of lensed sources can probe the geometry of the universe. We propose a novel method based on free-form modelling of gravitational lenses to estimate time-delay distances and, in turn, cosmological parameters. This approach does not suffer from the degeneracy between the steepness of the profile and the cosmological parameters. We apply the method to 18 systems having time delay measurements and find H_0=69+-6(stat.)+-4(syst.) km s^{-1}Mpc^{-1}. In combination with WMAP9, the constraints on dark energy are Omega_w=0.68+-0.05 and w=-0.86+-0.17 in a flat model with constant equation-of-state.

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Date added: Thu, 10 Oct 13