Primordial Non-Gaussianity in the Cosmic Microwave Background


In the last few decades, advances in observational cosmology have given us a standard model of cosmology. We know the content of the universe to within a few percent. With more ambitious experiments on the way, we hope to move beyond the knowledge of what the universe is made of, to why the universe is the way it is. In this review paper we focus on primordial non-Gaussianity as a probe of the physics of the dynamics of the universe at the very earliest moments. We discuss 1) theoretical predictions from inflationary models and their observational consequences in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies; 2) CMB--based estimators for constraining primordial non-Gaussianity with an emphasis on bispectrum templates; 3) current constraints on non-Gaussianity and what we can hope to achieve in the near future; and 4) non-primordial sources of non-Gaussianities in the CMB such as bispectrum due to second order effects, three way cross-correlation between primary-lensing-secondary CMB, and possible instrumental effects.Comment: 27 pages, 8 figures; Invited Review for the Journal "Advances in Astronomy"; references adde

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