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Published July 11, 2001 | Accepted Version + Published
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Tests for primordial non-Gaussianity


We investigate the relative sensitivities of several tests for deviations from Gaussianity in the primordial distribution of density perturbations. We consider models for non-Gaussianity that mimic that which comes from inflation as well as that which comes from topological defects. The tests we consider involve the cosmic microwave background (CMB), large-scale structure, high-redshift galaxies, and the abundances and properties of clusters. We find that the CMB is superior at finding non-Gaussianity in the primordial gravitational potential (as inflation would produce), while observations of high-redshift galaxies are much better suited to find non-Gaussianity that resembles that expected from topological defects. We derive a simple expression that relates the abundance of high-redshift objects in non-Gaussian models to the primordial skewness.

Additional Information

© 2001 RAS. Received: 02 February 2001. Accepted: 23 February 2001. Published: 11 July 2001. LV and RJ thank the Caltech theoretical astrophysics group for hospitality. MK was supported in part by NSF AST-0096023, NASA NAG5-8506, and DoE DE-FG03-92-ER40701.

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