UV luminosity functions provide a wealth of information on the physics of galaxy formation in the early Universe. Given that this probe indirectly tracks the evolution of the mass function of dark matter halos, it has the potential to constrain alternative theories of structure formation. One of such scenarios is the existence of primordial non-Gaussianity at scales beyond those probed by observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background. Through its impact on the halo mass function, such small-scale non-Gaussianity would alter the abundance of galaxies at high redshifts. In this work we present an application of UV luminosity functions as measured by the Hubble Space Telescope to constrain the non-Gaussianity parameter fNL for wavenumbers above a cut-off scale kcut. After marginalizing over the unknown astrophysical parameters and accounting for potential systematic errors, we arrive at a 2σ bound of fNL = 71+426−237 for a cut-off scale kcut = 0.1 Mpc−1 in the bispectrum of the primordial gravitational potential. Moreover, we perform forecasts for the James Webb Space Telescope and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, finding an expected improvement of a factor 3–4 upon the current bound.
- Cosmology of theories beyond the SM
- Galaxy formation
- High redshift galaxies