Journal Article

Detecting bispectral acoustic oscillations from inflation using a new flexible estimator

Martin Bucher, Bartjan van Tent and Carla Sofia Carvalho

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 4, pages 2193-2206
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17089.x
Detecting bispectral acoustic oscillations from inflation using a new flexible estimator

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We present a new flexible estimator for comparing theoretical templates for the predicted bispectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy to observations. This estimator, based on binning in harmonic space, generalizes the ‘optimal’ estimator of Komatsu, Spergel and Wandelt by allowing an adjustable weighting scheme for masking possible foreground and other contaminants and detecting particular noteworthy features in the bispectrum. The utility of this estimator is illustrated by demonstrating how acoustic oscillations in the bispectrum and other details of the bispectral shape could be detected in the future Planck data provided that fNL is sufficiently large. The character and statistical weight of the acoustic oscillations and the decay tail are described in detail.

Keywords: methods: statistical; cosmic background radiation; early Universe

Journal Article.  9429 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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