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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Scale factor and energy density

I'm looking at some solutions of the Friedmann equation at this website: Solutions to Friedmann equation If I look at the first problem (Problem 1: matter or radiation in a flat Universe) and click ...
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A true singularity at $t=0$, coordinate independent Big Bang

Consider a flat Robertson-Walker metric. When we say that there is a singularity at $t=0$, clearly it is a coordinate dependent statement. So it is a "candidate" singularity. In principle there is ...
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Variable parameters in cosmology

Mainstream theories in cosmology assume that parameters like the speed of light $c$, and the gravitational constant $G$ are time-independent. Is there any evidence suggesting that this assumption is ...
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With what fraction photon quanta emission rate is decreased in the expanding universe? [on hold]

Light from edge of the observable universe has travelled 13.8 billion light years so far. And, that edge itself has travelled 32.2-33.2 billion light years (that's why actual radius of observable ...
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Calculating energy density in the early Universe

I've been told to calculate the energy density in the early Universe. It states that it is completely dominated by neutrinos (3 species), photons, electrons, and positrons. Now, I've found an ...
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73 views

Differences between astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology? [on hold]

What is the main difference between Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Cosmology? I have the impression that astronomy is a subject that runs parallel to physics but it is outside the physics field. This ...
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How is expansion of the Universe consistent with the speed of light? [duplicate]

I have a question that I believe is related to @PetTaxi's question here: How far has a 13.7 billion year old photon travelled, but I didn't want to hi-jack it. My issue is this. I'm assuming the ...
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119 views

How far has a 13.7 billion year old photon travelled

I've read that the size of the observable Universe is thought to be around ~46 billion light years, and that the light we see from the most distant galaxies were emitted ~13.7 billion years ago as a ...
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Expansion rate in matter dominated era [duplicate]

Do physicists know what the expansion rate of the Universe was at the beginning of the matter dominated era?
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Is there any limit on movement of space itself?

According to special relativity, c is the maximum speed at which all matter and information in the universe can travel. [IN SPACE] But the inflationary hypothesis says the space itself expanded ...
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63 views

What is the identity of Dark Matter?

What is the identity of dark matter? Is it a particle? Is it the lightest superpartner (LSP)? Do the phenomena attributed to dark matter point not to some form of matter but actually to an ...
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Energy Continuity Equation [closed]

I have the following equation (Energy Continuity Equation) derived from Einstein/Friedmann equations: $$ \dot \rho + 3\left(\rho + P\right)\frac{\dot a}{a} = 0 $$ Now, I then have to show that $\rho ...
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Was the Big Bang actually cold?

As I understand, from watching the Discovery Channel, the total amount of energy in the universe is zero. As such, people like Hawking explain that the universe can be created out of nothing ...
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Is quantum uncertainty a function of how matter is distributed in the universe?

As an outcome of his PhD thesis work, Richard Feynman and John Wheeler wrote a series of papers on how the kickback on an electron as it emits a photon can be modeled accurately as the result of an ...
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Why isn't our universe symmetric?

Why were random variations introduced in the spherically symmetric universe after Big Bang which made it non-symmetrical. Since the outcome of a coin toss depend on factors such as torque applied, air ...
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97 views

What's the escape velocity of Naked Singularities?

Penrose's Cosmic Censorship Hypothesis doesn't hold for naked singularities which means that at least light can escape the singularity. But, if we calculate escape velocity with the given mass only, ...
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Graviational Lensing Data

Can anyone provide me with (or point me to) real life gravitational lensing data that I can plug in to the first equation on this page (the standard lensing equation): ...
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163 views

How can we differentiate between matter and antimatter? [duplicate]

For instance if there was a galaxy, assume it to be made up of antimatter (isolated from other "normal" galaxies), how would we, or rather, would we be able to distinguish if it was made up of matter ...
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Are the distances we measure to objects in the universe incorrect because of their relative motion?

For example the agreed distance to the Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light years, and consequentially, we see the galaxy as it was 2.5 million years ago! (A time interval in which the galaxy must ...
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Statistics of Black Holes

I am hoping to collect information about the sampling distribution of black hole sizes, densities, and their relative spatial distribution within galaxies and other formations. By sampling ...
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What caused the expansion of the universe to slow down after the inflationary epoch?

As everyone knows, when the big bang happened, the universe expanded at an unbelievable rate and this was called the inflationary epoch (or more popularly cosmological inflation) which lasted for ...
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how is cosmological constant used in equations? [closed]

People say that they use cosmological constant in an equation to remove a non required value. For example, the cosmological constant $\Lambda$ appears in Einstein's field equation in the form of: $$ ...
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Converting between cosmological times

David Hogg's 'Distance Measures in Cosmology' is my go-to reference for all things cosmological. It's missing a discussion of time measurements however. How does one convert between different ...
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What will happen to a naked singularity during the Big Rip? [duplicate]

I apologize in advance if some concepts I use are vague, but I am just an enthusiast. I have read that the Big Rip will not rip off black holes because the event horizon will become equal to something ...
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Does dark matter in the universe acts as a pulling force or a pushing force?

Scientists have claimed that in this world there are two kinds of forces which help in keeping everything in its place called dark matter and dark energy. But are these two forces act as a pulling ...
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In layman's terms, why would frame dragging affect precession of nearby object?

My question is really about the gravitomagnetic frame-dragging and the Lense Thirring effect. My question is not whether the frame dragging effect exists but rather it's manifestation in affecting ...
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Can hyperbolic space be bounded?

There are many visualisations of hyperbolic geometry using Poincaré disks. What are their purpose? Can hyperbolic space be bounded? Can we endow the disk with the structure described by the FLRW ...
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Does “Infinite Universe” Imply Infinite Mass?

In accordance with the FLRW Metric with a curverature of $k=0$ (as observationally supported by several of NASA's experiments including WMAP, Planck satellite, DASI, etc.) the universe is spatially ...
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506 views

Gravitational time dilation caused by a galaxy, and by

In a word, if you are sitting on the Earth, if I'm not mistaken you are experiencing Time Dilation compared to being in deep solar system space. Due to the mass of the Earth. However. We're all ...
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Covariant Fluid Flow approach

I am doing Cosmological perturbation. Currently reading a paper by Bruni et al. In that it is mentioned that they are using covariant fluid flow approach to cosmology. Can any body give me a rough ...
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61 views

Topological implications of symbolic represenation of the relativity

I have seen in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in the entry on Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics that Niels Bohr had argued that the theory of relativity is not a literal ...
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What fraction of baryonic matter is in stars?

We know from big bang nucleosynthesis that baryonic matter accounts for about 5% of the universe's total mass-energy density. What is the current best estimate of how much of this is in the form of ...
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Where did the energy of the universe come from? [duplicate]

Last week my Physics teacher asked the class this question: If the internal energy of the universe is constant, then where did all the energy come from originally?
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Could these hypothetical very long distance properties of light offer alternatives to an expanding universe or a finite number of galaxies?

Assume that there could be a property of light that it gets very gradually steadily red-shifted by traveling large astronomical distances, in exactly the same way that Doppler shift from receding ...
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Is There A 'Leading Edge' to the Universe? [duplicate]

Is there a center to the universe? Did the Big Bang happen at a single location, spreading outwards? Or, was the Big Bang more of a state-change, in which the universe went from super-dense and ...
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79 views

If the universe is spatially infinite, and if something (A) is possible, does that mean the thing (A) happens?

Assuming that the universe is spatially infinite, extending outwards in all directions without end, and is consistent with what we have thus far observed, and predict to find (and predict to be out ...
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668 views

Other explanation for cosmological redshift?

I'm interested if any of the following explanations have enough predictive capability to explain the observations we see today. The claim is that the Universe is not expanding, and that red-shift of ...
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Redshift and conformal time

What is the relationship between redshift and conformal time ? For example in a paper i found: taking $z_e = 3234 $ at the time of radiaton-matter equality yields the conformal time ...
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Do Quantum Fluctuations happen evenly through universe?

I was wondering if Quantum Fluctuations are completely unpredictable, but do our observations tell us if these fluctuations happen evenly through space or are there regions where more quantum ...
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Is the Universe still believed to be flat?

I have read a handful of old articles from mid 2013 expressing that the Universe may, in fact, be curved. http://www.nature.com/news/universe-may-be-curved-not-flat-1.13776 ...
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1answer
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How the distance and diameter of the stars are experimentally measured?

How to measure the distance of a star and the diameter of it from earth based tools? Normally we can measure the angle between the stars edge. But diameter or distance needed to measure the other ...
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190 views

Recommended books for a “relativity for poets” class?

I teach physics at a community college and have developed a new course titled "Relativity for Poets," which I will be teaching for the first time in spring 2015. As implied by the title, it's a ...
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Where's all the light going in the universe?

According to my knowledge, matter can not go faster than light, and light is emitted constantly in the universe from many types of reactions. If this is so, then isn't light constantly getting past ...
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47 views

Concerning the transtition between matter dominated universe and radiation dominated universe

What caused the transition, and how to we know that this did not warp our calculations for the age of the early universe ?
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642 views

Failure of the Steady State Theory

I was reading a journal of astronomy and came to the most famous opponent of Big Bang theory: The Steady State Theory: The 20th - century theory was proposed by Hoyle,Gold and Bondie. The ...
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53 views

Increasing matter density in the Friedman equations?

From what I understand, the Friedman equation is $H^2=\frac{8\pi G}{3} \rho$ and the $H$, the Hubble constant, is a measure of the rate of expansion of the universe. What I am confused about is that ...
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102 views

Infinite space, nothingness, and the concept of infinity [closed]

These two questions are a follow-up to my previous Phys.SE question on finite space. The first question challenges the concept of infinite space. Space is something: it is ruled by laws, and ...
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1answer
76 views

Infinite space or finite space?

I have been reading about the nature of space (Brian Greene's and Max Tegmark's recent books) and have a question on the size of space. Both references acknowledge that general relativity equations ...
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1answer
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What does the “size of the universe” mean if the Universe is infinite?

There are questions that may seem to be similar to this one, but I've yet to find an answer. I have come to understand that a flat universe, that is to say a curverature of $k=0$ which means that ...
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Determining zero energy from $k=0$?

I'm curious as to the equations necessary for finding a total energy of 0 (or, I suppose, the energy density of empty space due to quantum fluctuations) in a flat Friedmann universe such as ours. The ...