AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 109. Cosmology / Large Scale Structure II
Oral, Saturday, January 9, 1999, 10:00-11:30am, Ballroom A

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[109.02D] An Empirical Approach to Cosmological Structure Formation

E. Gawiser (U.C. Berkeley)

Observational advances in Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropy and large-scale structure support the claim that key cosmological parameters can be measured to a precision of a few percent in the next decade, but this assumes that adiabatic inflationary cold dark matter models are correct. I advocate a more empirical approach in which current observations are analyzed to determine if our paradigms for structure formation (nearly scale-invariant, gaussian, adiabatic density fluctuations and cold dark matter) are justified. The data are already good enough to constrain the primordial power spectrum and the gaussianity of the initial fluctuations. I will show these results, which represent a powerful test of the inflationary universe paradigm.

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