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Advances in Astronomy
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 184284, 14 pages
Review Article

Constraints on the Dark Side of the Universe and Observational Hubble Parameter Data

1Department of Astronomy, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2Center for High Energy Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

Received 2 August 2010; Revised 24 November 2010; Accepted 13 December 2010

Academic Editor: Gary Wegner

Copyright © 2010 Tong-Jie Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper is a review on the observational Hubble parameter data that have gained increasing attention in recent years for their illuminating power on the dark side of the universe: the dark matter, dark energy, and the dark age. Currently, there are two major methods of independent observational measurement, which we summarize as the “differential age method” and the “radial BAO size method.” Starting with fundamental cosmological notions such as the spacetime coordinates in an expanding universe, we present the basic principles behind the two methods. We further review the two methods in greater detail, including the source of errors. We show how the observational data present itself as a useful tool in the study of cosmological models and parameter constraint, and we also discuss several issues associated with their applications. Finally, we point the reader to a future prospect of upcoming observation programs that will lead to some major improvements in the quality of observational data.