Probing primordial non-Gaussianity via iSW measurements with SKA continuum surveys

Alvise Raccanelli, Olivier Dore, David James Bacon, Roy Maartens, Mario G. Santos, Stefano Camera, Tamara M. Davis, Michael J. Drinkwater, Matt J. Jarvis, Ray P. Norris, David Parkinson

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The Planck CMB experiment has delivered the best constraints so far on primordial non-Gaussianity, ruling out early-Universe models of inflation that generate large non-Gaussianity. Although small improvements in the CMB constraints are expected, the next frontier of precision will come from future large-scale surveys of the galaxy distribution. The advantage of such surveys is that they can measure many more modes than the CMB—in particular, forthcoming radio surveys with the Square Kilometre Array will cover huge volumes. Radio continuum surveys deliver the largest volumes, but with the disadvantage of no redshift information. In order to mitigate this, we use two additional observables. First, the integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect—the cross-correlation of the radio number counts with the CMB temperature anisotropies—helps to reduce systematics on the large scales that are sensitive to non-Gaussianity. Second, optical data allows for cross-identification in order to gain some redshift information. We show that, while the single redshift bin case can provide a σ(fNL) ~ 20, and is therefore not competitive with current and future constraints on non-Gaussianity, a tomographic analysis could improve the constraints by an order of magnitude, even with only two redshift bins. A huge improvement is provided by the addition of high-redshift sources, so having cross-ID for high-z galaxies and an even higher-z radio tail is key to enabling very precise measurements of fNL. We use Fisher matrix forecasts to predict the constraining power in the case of no redshift information and the case where cross-ID allows a tomographic analysis, and we show that the constraints do not improve much with 3 or more bins. Our results show that SKA continuum surveys could provide constraints competitive with CMB and forthcoming optical surveys, potentially allowing a measurement of σ(fNL) ~ 1 to be made. Moreover, these measurements would act as a useful check of results obtained with other probes at other redshift ranges with other methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number042
Pages (from-to)042
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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