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Astron. Astrophys. 324, 15-26 (1997)

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Weak lensing detection in CMB maps

F. Bernardeau

1 Service de Physique Théorique, C.E. de Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

Received 4 November 1996 / Accepted 31 January 1997


The weak lensing effects are known to change only weakly the shape of the power spectrum of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) temperature fluctuations. I show here that they nonetheless induce specific non-Gaussian effects that can be detectable with the four-point correlation function of the CMB anisotropies. The magnitude and geometrical dependences of this correlation function are investigated in details. It is thus found to scale as the square of the derivative of the two-point correlation function and as the angular correlation function of the gravitational displacement field. It also contains specific dependences on the shape of the quadrangle formed by the four directions.

When averaged at a given scale, the four-point function, that identifies with the connected part of the fourth moment of the probability distribution function of the local filtered temperature, scales as the square of logarithmic slope of its second moment, and as the variance of the gravitational magnification at the same angular scale.

All these effects have been computed for specific cosmological models. It is worth noting that, as the amplitude of the gravitational lens effects has a specific dependence on the cosmological parameters, the detection of the four-point correlation function could provide precious complementary constraints to those brought by the temperature power spectrum.

Key words: cosmology: dark matter – large-scale structures – gravitational lensing – cosmic microwave background

Send offprint requests to: F. Bernardeau; fbernardeau@cea.fr

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: May 26, 1998