A Lower Limit on the Age of the Universe

B. Chaboyer, P. Demarque, P. J. Kernan, L. M. Krauss
1996 Science  
We report the results of a detailed numerical study designed to estimate both the absolute age and the uncertainty in age (with confidence limits) of the oldest globular clusters. Such an estimate is essential if a comparison with the Hubble age of the universe is to be made to determine the consistency, or lack thereof, of various cosmological models. Utilizing estimates of the uncertainty range (and distribution) in the input parameters of stellar evolution codes we produced 1000 Monte Carlo
more » ... ealizations of stellar isochrones, with which we could fit the ages of the 18 oldest globular clusters. Incorporating the observational uncertainties in the measured color-magnitude diagrams for these systems and the predicted isochrones, we derived a probability distribution for the mean age of these systems. The one-sided 95% C.L. lower bound for this distribution occurs at an age of 12.07 Gyr. This puts interesting constraints on cosmology which we discuss. Further details, including a description of the distributions, covariance matrices, dependence upon individual input parameters, etc. will appear in a future article.
doi:10.1126/science.271.5251.957 fatcat:klib5epm4fb3deekot6q3alnde