Loop corrections in nonlinear cosmological perturbation theory

Román Scoccimarro, Joshua Frieman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Using a diagrammatic approach to Eulerian perturbation theory, we calculate analytically the variance and skewness of the density and velocity divergence induced by gravitational evolution from Gaussian initial conditions, including corrections beyond leading order. Except for the power spectrum, previous calculations in cosmological perturbation theory have been confined to leading order (tree level): we extend these to include loop corrections. For scale-free initial power spectra, P(k) ∼ kn with -2 ≤ n ≤ 2, the one-loop variance σ2 ≡ 〈δ2〉 = σ2l + 1.82σ4l, and the skewness S3 = 〈δ3〉/σ4 = 34/7 + 9.8σ2l, where σl is the rms fluctuation of the density field to linear order. (These results depend weakly on the spectral index n, due to the nonlocality of the nonlinear solutions to the equations of motion.) Thus, loop corrections for the (unsmoothed) density field begin to dominate over tree-level contributions (and perturbation theory presumably begins to break down) when σ2l ≃ 1/2. For the divergence of the velocity field, loop dominance does not occur until σ2l ≈ 1. We also compute loop corrections to the variance, skewness, and kurtosis for several nonlinear approximation schemes, where the calculation can be easily generalized to one-point cumulants of higher order and arbitrary number of loops. We find that the Zeldovich approximation gives the best approximation to the loop corrections of exact perlurbation theory, followed by the linear potential approximation (LPA) and the frozen flow approximation (FFA), in qualitative agreement with the relative behavior of tree-level results. In LPA and FFA, loop corrections are infrared divergent for spectral indices n ≤ - 1; this is related to the breaking of Galilean invariance in these schemes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)37-73
    Number of pages37
    JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jul 1996


    • Cosmology: theory
    • Large-scale structure of universe
    • Methods: analytical

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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