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Non-Gaussian Statistics of Cosmic Microwave Background Secondary Anisotropies: Signals and Primordial Contaminants

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Sadra Jazayeri.

Observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation have driven the current era of precision cosmology. Nevertheless, substantial information remains to be extracted from the CMB temperature “secondary anisotropies” generated by effects between our vantage point and the surface of last scattering. These signals, including gravitational lensing and the thermal and kinematic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effects, also contain valuable cosmological information (e.g., about neutrino masses) and astrophysical information (e.g., about the distributions of baryons and dark matter). However, these effects can also contaminate measurements of the primordial universe relying on information in the primary CMB anisotropies. I will present calculations of such biases on CMB -temperature-based estimates of primordial non-Gaussianity, which could have implications for results from the Planck satellite. I will then discuss ongoing work to robustly extract secondary anisotropy signals in data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope via a novel component-separation pipeline, as well as next-generation forecasts for the Simons Observatory (SO), which will begin observations in the early 2020s. I will conclude by presenting a novel analytic model for the one-point PDF of the thermal SZ field, a particularly powerful probe of the amplitude of density fluctuations.

This talk is part of the Cosmology Lunch series.

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