Constraining Primordial Non-Gaussianity with the CMB and LSS

Adam Becker
(University of Michigan)


Primordial non-Gaussianity provides cosmology one of the precious few connections between primordial physics and the present-day universe. Standard inflationary theory, with a single slowly rolling scalar field, predicts that the spatial distribution of structures in the universe today is very nearly Gaussian random. Departures from Gaussianity, barring contamination from systematic errors or late-time non-Gaussianity due to secondary processes, would be a violation of this standard inflationary assumption. Constraining or detecting primordial non-Gaussianity is therefore an important basic test of the standard cosmological model. Future results from Planck and from large-scale structure surveys will place tight constraints on many of the most popular models of non-Gaussianity. I will discuss several methods used to detect primordial non-Gaussianity, along with projected constraints that will be placed on a simple physically-motivated scale-dependent form of non-Gaussianity from CMB and LSS data in the near (and not-so-near) future.