Measuring the galaxy power spectrum with future redshift surveys

Max Tegmark, Andrew J.S. Hamilton, Michael A. Strauss, Michael S. Vogeley, Alexander S. Szalay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Precision measurements of the galaxy power spectrum P(k) require a data analysis pipeline that is both fast enough to be computationally feasible and accurate enough to take full advantage of high-quality data. We present a rigorous discussion of different methods of power spectrum estimation, with emphasis on the traditional Fourier method and linear (Karhunen-Loeve; KL) and quadratic data compression schemes, showing in what approximations they give the same result. To improve speed, we show how many of the advantages of KL data compression and power spectrum estimation may be achieved with a computationally faster quadratic method. To improve accuracy, we derive analytic expressions for handling the integral constraint, since it is crucial that finite volume effects are accurately corrected for on scales comparable to the depth of the survey. We also show that for the KL and quadratic techniques, multiple constraints can be included via simple matrix operations, thereby rendering the results less sensitive to Galactic extinction and misestimates of the radial selection function. We present a data analysis pipeline that we argue does justice to the increases in both quality and quantity of data that upcoming redshift surveys will provide. It uses three analysis techniques in conjunction: a traditional Fourier approach on small scales, a pixelized quadratic matrix method on large scales, and a pixelized KL eigenmode analysis to probe anisotropic effects such as redshift-space distortions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-576
Number of pages22
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART I
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Methods: numerical


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