AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 42 Cosmology and Lensing
Poster, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[42.03] The Bispectrum of Galactic Dust: Implications for Microwave Background non-Gaussianity

V. Kasliwal, E.F. Bunn, R. Chan, M. McCann (University of Richmond)

A major question regarding temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) is whether or not they obey Gaussian statistics (i.e., whether they contain any additional information beyond that contained in the power spectrum). Inflation theory predicts that the CMB is Gaussian; future experiments will test this prediction. Dust contamination will likely be a problem for these tests, and could bias the results, as dust is known to be highly non-Gaussian. The Bispectrum is one method of testing for non-Gaussianity, and it does not appear to be strongly affected by low levels of dust contamination. We calculate the Bispectrum for simulated sky maps containing mixtures of Gaussian CMB fluctuations and dust. We are in the process of finalising a statistic to quantify our results. It is hoped that such a statistic would give strongly negative results for non-Gaussian CMB fluctuations.

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