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Model-independent reconstruction of the primordial power spectrum from WMAP data
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 20:54 authored by Pia Mukherjee, Yun Wang
Reconstructing the shape of the primordial power spectrum in a model-independent way from cosmological data is a useful consistency check on what is usually assumed regarding early universe physics. It is also our primary window to unknown physics during the inflationary era. Using a power-law form for the primordial power spectrum Pin(k) and constraining the scalar spectral index and its running, in 2003 Peiris and coworkers found that the first-year Wilkinson Microwave Anistropy Probe (WMAP) data seem to indicate a preferred scale in Pin(k). We use two complementary methods, the wavelet band power method of Mukherjee & Wang and the top-hat binning method of Wang, Spergel, & Strauss, to reconstruct Pin(k) as a free function from cosmic microwave background (CMB) data alone (WMAP, CBI, and ACBAR), or from CMB data together with large-scale structure data (2dFGRS and PCSz). The shape of the reconstructed Pin(k) is consistent with scale invariance, although it allows some indication of a preferred scale at k~0.01 Mpc-1. While consistent with the possible evidence for a running of the scalar spectral index found by the WMAP team, our results highlight the need of more stringent and independent constraints on cosmological parameters (the Hubble constant in particular) in order to more definitively constrain deviations of Pin(k) from scale invariance without making assumptions about the inflationary model.
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NotesA first detailed reconstruction of the primordial power spectrum using precision CMB data. Our approach was novel, and inspired other methods proposed more recently. I did most of this work, with Wang contributing to the idea. This paper has over 50 citations.
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