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A few brief notes on the equivalence of two expressions for statistical significance in point source detections

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Document pages: 5 pages

Abstract: The problem of point source detection in Poisson-limited count maps has beenaddressed by two recent papers [M. Lampton, ApJ 436, 784 (1994); D. E.Alexandreas, et al., Nucl. Instr. Meth. Phys. Res. A 328, 570 (1993)]. Bothpapers consider the problem of determining whether there are significantly morecounts in a source region than would be expected given the number of countsobserved in a background region. The arguments in the two papers are quitedifferent (one takes a Bayesian point of view and the other does not), and thesuggested formulas for computing p-values appear to be different as well. It isshown here that the expressions provided by the authors of these two articlesare in fact equivalent.

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