The $n$-point streaming model: how velocities shape correlation functions in redshift space


Starting from first principles, we derive the fundamental equations that relate the $n$-point correlation functions in real and redshift space. Our result generalises the so-called `streaming model' to higher-order statistics - the full $n$-point correlation in redshift-space is obtained as an integral of its real-space counterpart times the joint probability density of $n-1$ relative line-of-sight peculiar velocities. Equations for the connected $n$-point correlation functions are obtained by recursively applying the generalised streaming model for decreasing $n$. Our results are exact within the distant-observer approximation and completely independent of the nature of the tracers for which the correlations are evaluated. Focusing on 3-point statistics, we use an $N$-body simulation to study the joint probability density function of the relative line-of-sight velocities of pairs of particles in a triplet. On large scales, we find that this distribution is approximately Gaussian and that its moments can be accurately computed with standard perturbation theory. We use this information to formulate a phenomenological 3-point Gaussian streaming model. A practical implementation is obtained by using perturbation theory at leading order to approximate several statistics in real space. In spite of this simplification, the resulting predictions for the matter 3-point correlation function in redshift space are in rather good agreement with measurements performed in the simulation. We discuss the limitations of the simplified model and suggest a number of possible improvements. Our results find direct applications in the analysis of galaxy clustering but also set the basis for studying 3-point statistics with future peculiar-velocity surveys and experiments based on the kinetic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect.

In Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Joseph Kuruvilla
Joseph Kuruvilla
Postdoctoral researcher in cosmology

My research interests include understanding our Universe using galaxy clustering, and cosmic microwave background.