In an apparent-magnitude limited catalogue of galaxies, the average number density of galaxies decreases with distance because only increasingly bright galaxies are included in the sample at larger distance. With the large redshift surveys it is possible to avoid this systematic change in both density and galaxy luminosity by constructing volume-limited samples of galaxies, with cuts on both absolute-magnitude and redshift. This is in particular useful for analyses such as MF and was carried out in the analysis shown here.
Figure 31 shows the MFs as a function of defined from the volume fraction :, we plot the result in this way for simplicity.
The good match between the observed MFs and the mock predictions based on the LCDM model with the initial random-Gaussianity, as illustrated in Figure 31, might be interpreted to imply that the primordial Gaussianity is confirmed. A more conservative interpretation is that, given the size of the estimated uncertainties, these data do not provide evidence for initial non-Gaussianity, i.e., the data are consistent with primordial Gaussianity. Unfortunately, due to the statistical limitation of the current SDSS data, it is not easy to put a more quantitative statement concerning the initial Gaussianity. Moreover, in order to go further and place more quantitative constraints on primordial Gaussianity with upcoming data, one needs a more precise and reliable theoretical model for the MFs, which properly describes the nonlinear gravitational effect possibly as well as galaxy biasing beyond the simple mapping on the basis of the volume fraction. In fact, galaxy biasing is a major source of uncertainty for relating the observed MFs to those obtained from the mock samples for dark matter distributions. If LCDM is the correct cosmological model, the good match of the MFs for mock samples from the LCDM simulations to the observed SDSS MFs may indicate that nonlinearity in the galaxy biasing is relatively small, at least small enough that it does not significantly affect the MFs (the MFs as a function of remain unchanged for the linear biasing).
© Max Planck Society and the author(s)