Non-Gaussianity in Cosmology (on the Adriatic)

I’m spending the week at the Workshop on Nongaussianity in Cosmology at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, just outside of Trieste, Italy.

Just so you know I’m working hard, here’s the view from my room at the Adriatico Guest House that the ICTP runs:
Guest House View - 3
(More pictures here.)

When I’ve got more time, I’ll try to explain what we’re talking about here. The basic idea is that our baseline theories for the way structure formed in the early Universe say that it is likely to have a statistically isotropic and very nearly Gaussian distribution, which in turn means that it can be described by a single function called the two-point function, ξ(r), where r is the distance between any two points in the Universe (that’s the Greek letter ‘xi’, by the way). But realistic theories generally predict deviations from this simple picture. How can we describe those predictions in detail? How can we measure them in the real Universe? Those are the questions we’re here to address.