Abstract:
Since the first limit on the (local) primordial non-Gaussianity parameter, fNL, was obtained from COBE data in 2002, observations of the CMB have been playing a central role in constraining the amplitudes of various forms of non-Gaussianity in primordial fluctuations. The current 68% limit from the 7-year WMAP data is fNL=32+/-21, and the Planck satellite is expected to reduce the uncertainty by a factor of four in a few years from now. If fNL>>1 is found by Planck with high statistical significance, all single-field models of inflation would be ruled out. Moreover, if the Planck satellite finds fNL=30, then it would be able to test a broad class of multi-field models using the four-point function (trispectrum) test of tauNL>=(6fNL/5)^2. In this article, we review the methods (optimal estimator), results (WMAP 7-year), and challenges (secondary anisotropy, second-order effect, and foreground) of measuring primordial non-Gaussianity from the CMB data, present a science case for the trispectrum, and conclude with future prospects.

Abstract:
We present theoretical and observational studies of non-Gaussian fluctuations in CMB, by using the angular bispectrum and trispectrum. We predict the primary angular bispectrum from inflation, and forecast how well we can measure the primordial non-Gaussian signal. In addition to that, secondary anisotropy sources in the low-redshift universe also produce non-Gaussianity, so do foreground emissions from extragalactic or interstellar microwave sources. We study how well we can measure these non-Gaussian signals, including the primordial signal. We find that slow-roll inflation produces too small bispectrum to be detected by any experiments; thus, any detection strongly constrains this class of models. We also find that the secondary bispectrum from coupling between the SZ effect and the weak lensing effect, and the foreground bispectrum from extragalactic point sources, give detectable non-Gaussian signals on small angular scales. We test Gaussianity of the COBE DMR sky maps, by measuring all the modes of the angular bispectrum down to the DMR beam size. We find no significant signal of the bispectrum. We also find that the previously reported detection of the bispectrum is consistent with a statistical fluctuation. By fitting the theoretical prediction to the data for the primary bispectrum, we put a constraint on non-linearity in inflation. We conclude that the angular bispectrum finds no significant non-Gaussian signals in the DMR data. We present the first measurement of the angular trispectrum on the DMR sky maps, further testing Gaussianity of the DMR data. We find no significant non-Gaussian signals in the trispectrum. Therefore, the angular bispectrum and trispectrum show that the DMR sky map is comfortably consistent with Gaussianity.

Abstract:
A long standing problem in weak lensing is about how to construct cosmic shear estimators from galaxy images. Conventional methods average over a single quantity per galaxy to estimate each shear component. We show that any such shear estimators must reduce to a highly nonlinear form when the galaxy image is described by three parameters (pure ellipse), even in the absence of the point spread function (PSF). In the presence of the PSF, we argue that this class of shear estimators do not likely exist. Alternatively, we propose a new way of measuring the cosmic shear: instead of averaging over a single value from each galaxy, we average over two numbers, and then take the ratio to estimate the shear component. In particular, the two numbers correspond to the numerator and denominators which generate the quadrupole moments of the galaxy image in Fourier space, as proposed in Zhang (2008). This yields a statistically unbiased estimate of the shear component. Consequently, measurements of the n-point spatial correlations of the shear fields should also be modified: one needs to take the ratio of two correlation functions to get the desired, unbiased shear correlation.

Abstract:
We present complete constraints imposed from observations of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) on the chaotic inflationary scenario with a nonminimally coupled inflaton field proposed by Fakir and Unruh (FU). Our constraints are complete in the sense that we investigate both the scalar density perturbation and the tensor gravitational wave in the Jordan frame, as well as in the Einstein frame. This makes the constraints extremely strong without any ambiguities due to the choice of frames. We find that the FU scenario generates tiny tensor contributions to the CMBR relative to chaotic models in minimal coupling theory, in spite of its spectral index of scalar perturbation being slightly tilted. This means that the FU scenario will be excluded if any tensor contributions to CMBR are detected by the forthcoming satellite missions. Conversely, if no tensor nature is detected despite the tilted spectrum, a minimal chaotic scenario will be hard to explain and the FU scenario will be supported.

Abstract:
We calculate the bispectrum, B_g(k_1,k_2,k_3), Fourier transform of the three-point function of density peaks (e.g., galaxies), using two different methods: the Matarrese-Lucchin-Bonometto formula and the locality of galaxy bias. The bispectrum of peaks is not only sensitive to that of the underlying matter density fluctuations, but also to the four-point function. For a physically-motivated, local form of primordial non-Gaussianity in the curvature perturbation, we show that the galaxy bispectrum contains five physically distinct pieces: (i) non-linear gravitational evolution, (ii) non-linear galaxy bias, (iii) f_nl, (iv) f_nl^2, and (v) \gnl. While (i), (ii), and a part of (iii) have been derived in the literature, (iv) and (v) are derived in this paper for the first time. Our finding suggests that the galaxy bispectrum is more sensitive to f_nl than previously recognized, and is also sensitive to a new term, g_nl. For a more general form of local-type non-Gaussianity, the coefficient \fnl^2 can be interpreted as \tau_nl, which allows us to test multi-field inflation models. The usual terms from Gaussian initial conditions, have the smallest signals in the squeezed configurations, while the others have the largest signals; thus, we can distinguish them easily. We cannot interpret the effects of f_nl on B_g(k_1,k_2,k_3) as a scale-dependent bias, and thus replacing the linear bias in the galaxy bispectrum with the scale-dependent bias known for the power spectrum results in an incorrect prediction. As the importance of primordial non-Gaussianity relative to the non-linear gravity evolution and galaxy bias increases toward higher redshifts, galaxy surveys probing a high-redshift universe are particularly useful for probing the primordial non-Gaussianity.

Abstract:
We show that reheating of the universe occurs spontaneously in a broad class of inflation models with f(phi)R gravity (phi is inflaton). The model does not require explicit couplings between phi and bosonic or fermionic matter fields. The couplings arise spontaneously when phi settles in the vacuum expectation value (vev) and oscillates, with coupling constants given by derivatives of f(phi) at the vev and the mass of resulting bosonic or fermionic fields. This mechanism allows inflaton quanta to decay into any fields which are not conformally invariant in f(phi)R gravity theories.

Abstract:
We study implications of the large-N species solution to the hierarchy problem, proposed by G. Dvali, for reheating of the universe after inflation. Dvali's proposal contains additional N~10^{32} Z_2-conserved quantum fields beyond the Standard Model particles with mass ~1 TeV, which weaken gravity by a factor of 1/N, and thus explain the hierarchy between the Plank scale and the electroweak scale. We show that, in this scenario, the decay rates of inflaton fields through gravitational decay channels are enhanced by a factor of N, and thus they decay into N species of the quantum fields very efficiently, in the limit that quantum gravity effects are unimportant for the gravitational decay rate. In order not to over-reheat the universe, inflaton mass, vacuum expectation value of inflaton, or non-minimal gravitational coupling should be tightly fine-tuned. Our conclusion holds even when the gravitational decay is prohibited by some symmetry of the theory; the universe may still be over-reheated via annihilation of inflatons, if the number density of inflaton quanta is greater than the critical value.

Abstract:
We study the evolution of linear density fluctuations of free-streaming massive neutrinos at redshift of z<1000, with an explicit justification on the use of a fluid approximation. We solve the collisionless Boltzmann equation in an Einstein de-Sitter (EdS) universe, truncating the Boltzmann hierarchy at lmax=1 and 2, and compare the resulting density contrast of neutrinos, \delta_{\nu}^{fluid}, with that of the exact solutions of the Boltzmann equation that we derive in this paper. Roughly speaking, the fluid approximation is accurate if neutrinos were already non-relativistic when the neutrino density fluctuation of a given wavenumber entered the horizon. We find that the fluid approximation is accurate at few to 25% for massive neutrinos with 0.05

Abstract:
To quantify how rare the bullet-cluster-like high-velocity merging systems are in the standard LCDM cosmology, we use a large-volume 27 (Gpc/h)^3 MICE simulation to calculate the distribution of infall velocities of subclusters around massive main clusters. The infall-velocity distribution is given at (1-3)R_{200} of the main cluster (where R_{200} is similar to the virial radius), and thus it gives the distribution of realistic initial velocities of subclusters just before collision. These velocities can be compared with the initial velocities used by the non-cosmological hydrodynamical simulations of 1E0657-56 in the literature. The latest parameter search carried out recently by Mastropietro and Burkert showed that the initial velocity of 3000 km/s at about 2R_{200} is required to explain the observed shock velocity, X-ray brightness ratio of the main and subcluster, and displacement of the X-ray peaks from the mass peaks. We show that such a high infall velocity at 2R_{200} is incompatible with the prediction of a LCDM model: the probability of finding 3000 km/s in (2-3)R_{200} is between 3.3X10^{-11} and 3.6X10^{-9}. It is concluded that the existence of 1E0657-56 is incompatible with the prediction of a LCDM model, unless a lower infall velocity solution for 1E0657-56 with < 1800 km/s at 2R_{200} is found.

Abstract:
We investigate the phenomenological consequences of a modification of the initial state of a single inflationary field. While single-field inflation with the standard Bunch-Davies initial vacuum state does not generally produce a measurable three-point function (bispectrum) in the squeezed configuration, allowing for a non-standard initial state produces an exception. Here, we calculate the signature of an initial state modification in single-field slow-roll inflation in both the scale-dependent bias of the large-scale structure (LSS) and mu-type distortion in the black-body spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). We parametrize the initial state modifications and identify certain choices of parameters as natural, though we also note some fine-tuned choices that can yield a larger bispectrum. In both cases, we observe a distinctive k^-3 signature in LSS (as opposed to k^-2 for the local-form). As a non-zero bispectrum in the squeezed configuration correlates a long-wavelength mode with two short-wavelength modes, it induces a correlation between the CMB temperature anisotropy on large scales with the temperature-anisotropy-squared on very small scales; this correlation persists as the small-scale anisotropy-squared is processed into mu-type distortions. While the local-form mu-distortion turns out to be too small to detect in the near future, a modified initial vacuum state enhances the signal by a large factor owing to an extra factor of k_1/k. For example, a proposed absolutely-calibrated experiment, PIXIE, is expected to detect this correlation with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than 10, for an occupation number of about 0.5 in the observable modes. Relatively calibrated experiments such as Planck and LiteBIRD should also be able to measure this effect, provided that the relative calibration between different frequencies meets the required precision. (Abridged)