The effect of pressure gradients on luminosity distance-redshift relations

Paul D. Lasky, Krzysztof Bolejko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Inhomogeneous cosmological models have had significant success in explaining cosmological observations without the need for dark energy. Generally, these models imply that inhomogeneous matter distributions alter the observable relations that are taken for granted when assuming that the Universe evolves according to the standard Friedmann equations. Moreover, it has recently been shown that both inhomogeneous matter and pressure distributions are required in both early and late stages of cosmological evolution. These associated pressure gradients are required in the early Universe to sufficiently describe void formation, whilst late-stage pressure gradients stop the appearance of anomalous singularities. In this paper we investigate the effect of pressure gradients on cosmological observations by deriving the luminosity distance-redshift relations in spherically symmetric, inhomogeneous spacetimes endowed with a perfect fluid. By applying this to a specific example for the energy density distribution and using various equations of state, we are able to explicitly show that pressure gradients may have a non-negligible effect on cosmological observations. In particular, we show that a non-zero pressure gradient can imply significantly different residual Hubble diagrams for compared to that when the pressure is ignored. This paper therefore highlights the need to properly consider pressure gradients when interpreting cosmological observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035011
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Cite this