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Published March 21, 2000 | Published
Journal Article Open

Large-scale structure, the cosmic microwave background and primordial non-Gaussianity


Cosmic microwave background and large-scale structure data will shortly improve dramatically with the Microwave Anisotropy Probe and Planck Surveyor, and the Anglo-Australian 2-Degree Field and Sloan Digital Sky Survey. It is therefore timely to ask which of the microwave background and large-scale structure will provide a better probe of primordial non-Gaussianity. In this paper we consider this question, using the bispectrum as a discriminating statistic. We consider several non-Gaussian models and find that in each case the microwave background will provide a better probe of primordial non-Gaussianity. Our results suggest that if microwave background maps appear Gaussian, then apparent deviations from Gaussian initial conditions in galaxy surveys can be attributed with confidence to the effects of biasing. We demonstrate this precisely for the spatial bispectrum induced by local non-linear biasing.

Additional Information

© 2000 RAS, MNRAS. Accepted 1999 October 25. Received 1999 September 27; in original form 1999 June 3. We would like to thank A. Jaffe, A. Kosowsky and R. Scoccimarro for useful comments. LV acknowledges the support of a TMR grant. LV and AFH thank the Physics Department of Columbia University for hospitality. This work was supported at Columbia by a DoE Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, DE-FG02-92ER40699, NASA grant NAG5-3091, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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