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A Mathematical Framework for Discussing the Statistical Distribution of Galaxies in Space and its Cosmological Implications


Gunn, James Edward (1966) A Mathematical Framework for Discussing the Statistical Distribution of Galaxies in Space and its Cosmological Implications. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/EV32-TQ73.


The spectral-theoretic techniques of stationary time-series analysis are generalized and applied to the study of the statistical distribution of galaxies in space and the observed distribution on the sky. Sampling techniques and criteria are developed for the measurement of the Fourier transform of the autocovariance function, the so-called "power spectrum". The theory is extended to curved, nonstatic space-times and the possibility of using the spectral density obtained from counts of galaxies in the formulation of cosmological tests is discussed. A similar development is made for the statistical structure of the background light due to very faint galaxies, and the possibility of measurement of this structure and its application to cosmological tests is considered. It is shown that in both cases (counts and background) significant cosmological data can be obtained if our knowledge of the luminosity function, the spectra, and the evolution of galaxies is improved. Finally, application is made of the theory to the analysis of a small count problem in order to learn something about the general form of the spatial covariance.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Astronomy and Physics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Astronomy
Minor Option:Physics
Awards:Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award, 2003
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Münch, Guido
Group:Astronomy Department, Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 October 1965
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-11052003-090546
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4408
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:05 Nov 2003
Last Modified:27 Jul 2021 00:22

Thesis Files

PDF (Gunn_je_1966.pdf) - Final Version
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