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Cosmology with 300,000 Standard Sirens

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I will describe recent work by Cutler&Holz and Hirata, Holz, & Cutler showing that a highly sensitive, deci-Hz gravitational-wave mission like BBO or Decigo could measure cosmological parameters, such as the Hubble constant H_0 and the dark energy parameters w_0 and w_a, far more accurately than other proposed dark-energy missions. The basic point is that BBO’s angular resolution is so good that it will provide us with hundreds of thousands of “standard sirens.” These standard sirens are inspiraling neutron star and black hole binaries, with gravitationally-determined distances and optically determinable redshifts. I explain why a BBO-like mission would also be a powerful weak lensing mission, and I briefly describe some further astrophysics that would flow from such a mission.