1.5. Derived parameters
The parameter list of the previous subsection is sufficient to give a complete description of cosmological models which agree with observational data. However, it is not a unique parametrization, and one could instead use parameters derived from that basic set. Parameters which can be derived from the set given above include the age of the Universe, the present horizon distance, the present microwave background and neutrino background temperatures, the epoch of matter-radiation equality, the epochs of recombination and decoupling, the epoch of transition to an accelerating Universe, the baryon-to-photon ratio, and the baryon to dark matter density ratio. The physical densities of the matter components, i h2, are often more useful than the density parameters. The density perturbation amplitude can be specified in many different ways other than the large-scale primordial amplitude, for instance, in terms of its effect on the cosmic microwave background, or by specifying a short-scale quantity, a common choice being the present linear-theory mass dispersion on a scale of 8 h-1 Mpc, known as 8.
Different types of observation are sensitive to different subsets of the full cosmological parameter set, and some are more naturally interpreted in terms of some of the derived parameters of this subsection than on the original base parameter set. In particular, most types of observation feature degeneracies whereby they are unable to separate the effects of simultaneously varying several of the base parameters, an example being the angular diameter/physical density degeneracy of cosmic microwave anisotropies.