Journal Article

A new approach to probing primordial non-Gaussianity

Dipak Munshi and Alan Heavens

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 401, issue 4, pages 2406-2418
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
A new approach to probing primordial non-Gaussianity

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We address the dual challenge of estimating deviations from Gaussianity arising in models of the early Universe, whilst retaining information necessary to assess whether a detection of non-Gaussianity is primordial. We do this by constructing a new statistic, the bispectrum-related power spectrum, which is constructed from a map of the cosmic microwave background. The estimator is optimized for primordial non-Gaussianity detection, but can also be useful in distinguishing primordial non-Gaussianity from secondary non-Gaussianity, such as may arise from unsubtracted point sources, or residuals from component separation. Extending earlier studies we present unbiased non-Gaussianity estimators optimized for partial sky coverage and inhomogeneous noise associated with realistic scan strategies, but which retain the ability to assess foreground contamination.

Keywords: methods: analytical; methods: numerical; methods: statistical; cosmic microwave background; cosmology: theory; large-scale structure of Universe

Journal Article.  5799 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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