Dynamics of gravitational clustering
II. Steepest-descent method for the quasi-linear regime
Service de Physique Théorique, CEN Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 23 November 2001
We develop a non-perturbative method to derive the probability distribution of the density contrast within spherical cells in the quasi-linear regime. Indeed, since this corresponds to a rare-event limit a steepest-descent approximation can yield asymptotically exact results. We check that this is the case for Gaussian initial density fluctuations, where we recover most of the results obtained by perturbative methods from a hydrodynamical description. Moreover, we correct an error which was introduced in previous works for the high-density tail of the pdf. This feature, which appears for power-spectra with a slope , points out the limitations of perturbative approaches which cannot describe the pdf for even in the limit . This break-up does not involve shell-crossing and it is naturally explained within our framework. Thus, our approach provides a rigorous treatment of the quasi-linear regime, which does not rely on the hydrodynamical approximation for the equations of motion. Besides, it is actually simpler and more intuitive than previous methods. Our approach can also be applied to non-Gaussian initial conditions.
Key words: cosmology: theory / large-scale structure of Universe
© ESO, 2002