The study of the large-scale structure, history, and future of the universe. Cosmology is about asking and answering questions about the "big picture" - the extent, origin, and fate of everything we know.

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A physical understanding of the 2/3 in the Sachs-Wolfe effect

I am trying to develop an intuitive but quantitative understanding of the factor of 2/3 in the Sachs-Wolfe effect. I believe I have a picture that makes sense but it relies on one assumption I don't ...
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1answer
38 views

Friedmann equations question

Friedmann equations for critical density is: $$\rho_c = \frac{3H^2}{8\pi G}$$ Is there any other way to write this equation? For example: $$\rho_c = \frac{3}{8\pi GH^2}$$ I saw the above form on ...
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1answer
91 views

Is there an alternative to dark matter?

I've been reading about dark matter. I understood that its existence is inferred by the discrepancy between the gravity exerted by a galaxy (total mass) and the movement of the stars that compose it. ...
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2answers
46 views

Searching for Big Bang Neutrinos

How is it possible to discover neutrinos from the big bang? Were the neutrinos emitted just before the big bang? Or at the same moment? If they moved outward in all directions, basically unhindered ...
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52 views

Is it possible to determine whether distant galaxies are gravitationally bound

In a previous question, one issue was related to the potential energy of cosmic structures. This raised in particular the question of whether these structures are gravitationally bound. If you ...
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1answer
47 views

Degrees of freedom in the early Universe

I am reading Dodelson's textbook on cosmology. On page 66 we find equation 3.26: $$\rho = \frac{\pi^2}{30}T^4\biggl[\sum_{i=\text{bosons}}g_i+\frac{7}{8}\sum_{i=\text{fermions}}g_i\biggr]\equiv ...
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56 views

What is the composition of the universe's population of neutrinos?

I believe earth-based detectors measure mainly solar neutrinos, which have energies on the MeV scale of nuclear physics, are directed from the sun, and have flavors determined by the sun's nuclear ...
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1answer
42 views

Data/signal from a black hole to observe a singularity

I wonder if a situation is possible where, we measure some signal/property concerning a black hole. Supposing the measurement we make with some telescope, gets us the Fourier transform coefficients of ...
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25 views

What is holographic dark energy? [closed]

What is holographic dark energy? Or what is the relation between holography and gravity (or dark energy)?
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34 views

Sharpness of starlight

I am interested in argument that the observed lack of blurriness in starlight refutes the "tired light" theories. I have not been able to find this argument expanded in detail. There are two ways ...
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1answer
46 views

Expanding universe space through matter or matter through space? [duplicate]

So the universe is expanding, rather space is expanding. By expanding we mean space is coming into existence at all points.  Is that an equal rate of expansion everywhere? Now the expansion does not ...
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1answer
87 views

Expanding metre sticks [duplicate]

Given the Universe is expanding. Therefore everything within the U is expanding, in all dimensions, subatomic to cosmic. Then all metre sticks are expanding. The question: How can we measure U ...
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3answers
4k views

How can interstellar space have a temperature of 2-3K?

Several different sources online state that the average temperature of interstellar space (or the universe in general) is around 2-3K. I learned that temperature is basically the wiggling of matter, ...
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2answers
68 views

What did recombination look like?

I recently remembered that someone worked out what the big bang sounded like and that got me thinking... About 377,000 years after the Big Bang, electrons became bound to nuclei to form neutral ...
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3answers
92 views

The Universe as a four-dimensional sphere?

I was chatting with my 12yo cousin yesterday and we got to the Universe, its size and stuff like that. Then he came up with the idea (I'll rephrase it), that the Universe could basically be a 4d ...
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2answers
63 views

How do we observe the expansion of the universe?

This is my first question. So I was reading about expansion of the universe and from what I've seen, the only way that we know that universe is expanding is by measuring redshift. Also, here it says ...
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1answer
681 views

Does dark energy annihilate energy?

Antimatter and matter particles annihilate. But does dark energy annihilate energy? We consider energy to be photons, and such, correct? So when we say energy, we're actually talking about some ...
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2answers
46 views

Tachyonic field

i'm working on a paper about symmetron cosmology. symmetron is a scalar field that by its symmetry breaking can explain the dark energy. the action is: ans A , V are assumed to be: where M ...
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2answers
246 views

If we could build a telescope to view the cosmic neutrino background, what would we see?

If we could build a neutrino telescope capable of viewing relic neutrinos that decoupled after the big bang, with a similar angular and spectral resolution that is possible now for the CMB, what would ...
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2answers
51 views

Why did the big bang need to produce equal amounts of matter and antimatter?

I've tried to find an answer for this but couldn't find one. Whats the problem with matter being created with little or no antimatter
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1answer
234 views

As the universe expands, the wavelengths of photons are stretched, and energy is lost. What about electrons?

Will electrons, and other particles, also loose energy as they travel through the cosmos? They have wavelengths. Do they get "stretched"? My guess is that the EM force, somehow, counteracts this ...
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2answers
90 views

Expanding universe and the speed of light [duplicate]

When physicists talk about the expanding universe they often say that the distant galaxies are not really "moving" away but instead the space itself between us and them is expanding. If this is true ...
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2answers
112 views

Why is everything colder nowadays? [duplicate]

I know that when the universe began it was incredibly hot. Ever since, it is been cooling, and nowadays the average temperature of the universe is quite close to 0 K. Is this a consequence of having ...
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2answers
66 views

Best Research Documentation Habit for Computational Physics Research [closed]

I am currently doing research in a subset of the field of gravitational lensing called weak lensing. I am simulating blended galaxy profiles and creating an algorithm to extract the true parameters I ...
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2answers
151 views

Is the Big Bang defined as before or after Inflation?

Is the Big Bang defined as before or after Inflation? Seems like a simple enough question to answer right? And if just yesterday I were to encounter this, I'd have given a definite answer. But I've ...
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2answers
88 views

Are the implications of an infinite universe necessarily so unsettling

I have often heard it said (by professional cosmologists) that if the universe is infinite, then there necessarily exist infinitely many copies of me repeated throughout. The reasoning seems to be ...
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How did the gravity of the particles/objects behave at the edge of the expanding universe moments after big bang?

During a very short time after the big bang, the universe must have had an edge of space-time which is very close to all the matter in the universe. The particles which are close to or on the edge ...
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1answer
53 views

geodesic conjugate points

I was reading "Nature of space and time" by Penrose and Hawking, pg.13, If $\rho=\rho_0$ at $\nu=\nu_0$, then the RNP equation $\frac{d\rho}{d\nu} = \rho^2 + \sigma^{ij}\sigma_{ij} + ...
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1answer
61 views

What was a second in the early universe?

I have read some popsci articles and documentaries about the early universe and they often explain how various features of the universe came about and at what time. For example hydrogen atoms came ...
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1answer
29 views

Negative Energy in Inflation Theory (Low/Zero Energy Universe)

I've been reading Max Tegmark's book: Our Mathematical Universe. It's very interesting, but I wanted to know more about one particular thing. The book simplifies things and I know inflation theories ...
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0answers
30 views

Does the zero energy universe hold true on some mathematical grounds besides observations?

I was reading Stephen Hawking's 'The theory of everything' when I came across a very interesting type of universe, the 'zero energy universe' since then, I've read some websites but all they used to ...
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4answers
62 views

Why doesn't the light from galaxies appear stretched? [duplicate]

Maybe it's my ignorance of astrophysics/cosmology, but I have been wondering this: Why do galaxies not appear stretched when we observe them? Assuming a galaxy that we observe is 100,000 light years ...
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2answers
109 views

How does the gravity well change as space expands? [duplicate]

How does the gravity well change as space expands? If we assume that the Earth's gravitational field curves flat space to create a gravity well then how does the gravity well change as space expands ...
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1answer
51 views

Is there an absolute center of mass exist in the universe? [duplicate]

By the "absolute center of mass" I mean the center of all the matter that exists in a given moment. My friend asserted that today and it intrigued us very much but since we only have a CS degree and ...
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3answers
786 views

Is “now” or “the present moment” properly defined in GR?

My question is about the extent to which "now" is defined in GR. In Minkowski spacetime, it's possible to define a "now" for an inertial observer by finding a spacelike 3-plane such that, in the ...
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1answer
81 views

The FRW universe is NOT asymptotically flat? Its mass?

The Friedman-Robertson-Walker (FRW) metric in the comoving coordinates $(t,r,\theta,\varphi)$ which describes a homogeneous and isotropic universe is $$ ds^2\,= -dt^2+\frac{a(t)^2}{1-kr^2}\,dr^2 + ...
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2answers
128 views

Is time nothing but the speed of light (or the light itself)?

With regard to relativistic effects on time, all the examples and explanations revolve around light and its speed. Especially in explanatory situations that explain this using photon clock, it seems ...
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0answers
25 views

extreme heat to extreme cold (define the endstate)

Contemporary cosmology frequently has space temperatures just after the 'big bang' in the regions of millions of degrees and with inflation and expansion of the universe this is now down to a couple ...
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3answers
87 views

Does or should the metric expansion of space imply a locally observable increase in kinetic energy?

The title is the question. Here's why it seems like local kinetic energy should increase: Numerous questions and answers here and elsewhere suggest that the reason the metric expansion of space is ...
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0answers
36 views

How much would the orbit of the earth change if we launched all 'garbage' into outer space

I know it's not economically feasible, but is there a simple equation telling you the ellipse earth would follow if you theoretically launch all of the landfills, i.e. garbage, beyond our orbit, thus ...
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1answer
147 views

Is the observable universe homeomorphic to $B^3$?

Is the observable universe homeomorphic to $B^3$? Where $$B^3=\{x\in \mathbb{R}^3 : |x|\leq 1 \}$$ Or is it even sensible to talk about space (rather than spacetime) as a 3 manifold?
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1answer
43 views

Spacial curvature and expanding space

If we take the analogy that in an empty space the space is just a flat sheet then if there is a single planet or a star then the flat sheet will curve below the planet leaving a curvature shaped like ...
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2answers
63 views

What is entropy of the universe? [duplicate]

What is entropy of the universe? What is the change in entropy of our universe? Is this change increases or decreases? If the entropy of universe keeps on increasing then what are the consequences? Is ...
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1answer
55 views

How is CMB related to the temperature of the universe

As I understand it, CMB (cosmic microwave background) is the radiation emitted when matter decoupled at the early stages of the big bang. The thing I don't understand is do all stars emit this kind of ...
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2answers
385 views

Wouldn't the presence of dark matter slow the expansion of the universe?

If there is a huge element of dark matter in the universe, wouldn't this extra gravity prevent the accelerated expansion of the universe?
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0answers
32 views

Space within galaxies. Is it stuck by the gravity of the galaxy or expanding and “slipping past”? [duplicate]

I understand that the inter-galactic space is expanding but galaxies themselves are not. What is happening to the space within a galaxy? Is it fixed by the gravity of the galaxy or is it expanding and ...
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1answer
77 views

The universe appears to have a lower bound in the time dimension, why not an upper bound?

The Big Bang looks like a lower bound to the "size" of the universe in the time dimension. Could it also have an upper bound, some furthest point in time from the Big Bang?
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1answer
129 views

How far can something travel in a straight line?

Suppose you have an object some distance from you and moving at a velocity different to the Hubble velocity you'd expect at that point. How does the motion of this object change with time? Does it ...
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65 views

How to test that a flat metric represents a global three-torus geometry

When introducing Robertson-Walker metrics, Carroll's suggests that we consider our spacetime to be $R \times \Sigma$, where $R$ represents the time direction and $\Sigma$ is a maximally symmetric ...
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1answer
82 views

Could the center of the combined mass of the entire galaxy change if there were no external forces acting on that galaxy?

Everything in the galaxy orbits the center of the combined mass of the entire galaxy. So could the center of the combined mass of the entire galaxy change if there were no external forces acting on ...