Non-Gaussianity of secondary anisotropies from ACTPol and Planck

William R. Coulton, Simone Aiola, Nicholas Battaglia, Erminia Calabrese, Steve K. Choi, Mark J. Devlin, Patricio A. Gallardo, J. Colin Hill, Adam D. Hincks, Johannes Hubmayr, John P. Hughes, Arthur Kosowsky, Thibaut Louis, Mathew S. Madhavacheril, Maurin Loïc, Sigurd Naess, Federico Nati, Michael D. Niemack, Lyman A. Page, Bruce PartridgeBlake D. Sherwin, David N. Spergel, Suzanne T. Staggs, Alexander Van Engelen, Edward J. Wollack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Most secondary sources of cosmic microwave background anisotropy (radio sources, dusty galaxies, thermal Sunyaev Zel'dovich distortions from hot gas, and gravitational lensing) are highly non-Gaussian. Statistics beyond the power spectrum are therefore potentially important sources of information about the physics of these processes. We combine data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and with data from the Planck satellite (only using Planck data in the overlapping region) to constrain the amplitudes of a set of theoretical bispectrum templates from the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich (tSZ) effect, dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs), gravitational lensing, and radio galaxies. We make a strong detection of radio galaxies (>5σ) and have hints of non-Gaussianity arising from the tSZ effect, DSFGs, from cross-correlations between the tSZ effect and DSFGs and from cross-correlations among the tSZ effect, DSFGs and radio galaxies. These results suggest that the same halos host radio sources, DSFGs, and have tSZ signal. We present a new method to calculate the non-Gaussian contributions to the template covariances. Using this method we find significant non-Gaussian contributions to the variance and covariance of our templates, with templates involving the tSZ effect most effected. Strong degeneracies exist between the various sources at the current noise levels. In light of these degeneracies, combined with theoretical uncertainty in the templates, these results are a demonstration of this technique. With these caveats, we demonstrate the utility of future bispectrum measurements by using the tSZ bispectrum measurement to constrain a combination of the amplitude of matter fluctuations and the matter density to be σ8 Ωm 0.17=0.65+0.05 -0.06. Improvements in signal to noise from upcoming Advanced ACT, SPT-3G, Simons Observatory, and CMB-S4 observations will enable the separation of bispectrum components and robust constraints on cosmological parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 13 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


  • Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect
  • non-gaussianity


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