Journal Article

The effects of primordial non-Gaussianity on the cosmological reionization

D. Crociani, L. Moscardini, M. Viel and S. Matarrese

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 1, pages 133-141
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The effects of primordial non-Gaussianity on the cosmological reionization

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We investigate the effects of non-Gaussianity in the primordial density field on the reionization history. We rely on a semi-analytic method to describe the processes acting on the intergalactic medium (IGM), relating the distribution of the ionizing sources to that of dark matter haloes. Extending previous work in the literature, we consider models in which the primordial non-Gaussianity is measured by the dimensionless non-linearity parameter fNL, using the constraints recently obtained from cosmic microwave background data. We predict the ionized fraction and the optical depth at different cosmological epochs assuming two different kinds of non-Gaussianity characterized by a scale-independent and a scale-dependent fNL and comparing the results to those for the standard Gaussian scenario. We find that a positive fNL enhances the formation of high-mass haloes at early epochs when reionization begins, and, as a consequence, the IGM ionized fraction can grow by a factor of up to 5 with respect to the corresponding Gaussian model. The increase of the filling factor has a small impact on the reionization optical depth and is of the order of ∼10 per cent if a scale-dependent non-Gaussianity is assumed. Our predictions for non-Gaussian models are in agreement with the latest Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe results within the error bars, but a higher precision is required to constrain the scale dependence of non-Gaussianity.

Keywords: galaxies: evolution; intergalactic medium; cosmology: theory; early Universe

Journal Article.  6275 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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