A&A 366, 376-386 (2001)
Detection of non-random patterns in cosmological gravitational clusteringR. Valdarnini
SISSA, via Beirut 2-4, 34014, Trieste, Italy
(Received 10 February 2000 / Accepted 14 November 2000)
A new method for analyzing point patterns produced by the evolution of gravitational clustering is presented. The method is taken from the study of molecular liquids, where it has been introduced for making a statistical description of anisotropic distributions. The statistical approach is based on the spherical harmonic expansion of angular correlations. A general introduction to the method is given; a theoretical analysis shows that it is partially connected with previous harmonic analyses applied to galaxy catalogs. The effectiveness of the statistical analysis in quantifying clustering morphology is illustrated by applying the statistical estimators to point distributions produced by an ensemble of cosmological N-body simulations with a CDM spectrum. The results demonstrate that the statistical method is able to detect anisotropies in non-random patterns, with different scales being probed according to the expansion coefficients.
Key words: large-scale structure of Universe -- clustering
© ESO 2001