Whenever we talk about something that is ‘random’ we can describe it using statistics and probabilities. This is exactly how we describe the outcome of flipping a coin or rolling dice. A major goal of cosmology is to characterize the statistical properties of the initial density fluctuations which lead to the formation of galaxies.

The statistical properties can be broadly divided into two types: Gaussian and non-Gaussian statistics. Gaussian statistics is a more technical term for a bell curve- where the probability distribution is particularly simple. Along with several collaborators I have worked out the ability for measurements of the large scale structure of the universe to distinguish between these two possibilities and measure the level of non-Gaussian statistics (if there at all):

The Probability Distribution for Non-Gaussianity Estimators

The probability distribution for non-Gaussianity estimators constructed from the CMB trispectrum

The CMB Bispectrum, Trispectrum, non-Gaussianity, and the Cramer-Rao Bound

An improved estimator for non-Gaussianity in cosmic microwave background observations