The inventory in Table 1 assumes the now standard relativistic Friedmann-Lemaître CDM cosmology, in which space sections at fixed world time have negligibly small mean curvature, Einstein's cosmological term, , is independent of time and position, the dark matter is an initially cold noninteracting gas, and primeval departures from homogeneity are adiabatic, Gaussian, and scale-invariant. Physics in the dark sector is not well constrained: might be replaced with a dynamical component, as in the models for dark energy now under discussion, the physics of the dark matter may prove to be more complicated than that of a free collisionless gas, and the initial conditions may not be adequately approximated by the present standard cosmology. If such complications were present we expect their effects on entries that are sensitive to the cosmological model would be slight, however, because the cosmological tests now offer close to compelling evidence that the CDM model is a useful approximation to reality (Bennett et al. 2003a; Spergel et al. 2003; Tegmark et al. 2004a; and references therein).

To help simplify the discussion we adopt a nominal distance scale,
corresponding to Hubble's constant
^{2}

(1) |

The energy density,
_{i}, in the form of component *i* is
expressed as a density parameter,

(2) |

Since *H*_{o} is at best measured to ten percent accuracy
(Freedman et al. 2001),
an improved distance scale could produce noticeable
revisions to the inventory.

The second column from the right in Table 1 lists the density parameters in the components, and the last column presents the total for each category. Both columns sum to unity. Where we state an uncertainty the range spans our estimates of the smallest and largest credible values. The uncertainties in entries 2.1 and 2.3 are too small to be interesting for the purpose of this inventory. Elsewhere the absence of an error flag means the uncertainty is not well documented. In these cases we present numerical values to ± 0.1 dex, but the uncertainty generally is no less than ± 0.3 dex, that is, a factor of two.

^{2} We also write
*H*_{o} = 100 *h* km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1},
where convenient, but all
entries in the inventory in Table 1
assume *h* = 0.7.
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