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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12
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4answers
218 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
553 views

Baryon asymmetry

Baryon asymmetry refers to the observation that apparently there is matter in the Universe but not much antimatter. We don't see galaxies made of antimatter or observe gamma rays that would be ...
3
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1answer
123 views

Why did everything in space cool out?

Through my research, I learned that; According to thermophysics, heat always moves from an area of high heat to an area of low heat. Space has no heat at all. It is extremely cold However, ...
6
votes
1answer
238 views

Quantum Entanglement Versus Inflation in the Early Universe?

Quantum entanglement is one of the most fascinating and mysterious phenomena in nature. It needs no interactions, or any sort of exchange for it to take place. It is possible, not against any rules of ...
-2
votes
2answers
111 views

Has a theory of a small Big Bang in a much larger universe been proposed?

I have a theory I think might explain why the universe has accelerated in a way that doesn't require dark energy. I'm wondering if someone has proposed this theory before (did some research and ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why aren't we Boltzmann brains in an infinite universe?

Either space is finite or it is infinite. a) - If space is infinite in extent, either it is thermal over an infinite volume, or it is in the vacuum state for most of it. If it is thermal, infinity ...
1
vote
1answer
49 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Probability of spontaneous Boltzmann brain formation

I was reading through: http://www.scottaaronson.com/papers/giqtm3.pdf But I can't make sense of page 61 discussing Boltzmann brains. Specifically the fact that it says: But the problem is worse. ...
1
vote
2answers
58 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
80 views

Infinite space, nothingness, and the concept of infinity [on hold]

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
172 views

Which BICEP2 r value should be compared to Planck's r<0.11?

The BICEP2 paper reports a tensor/scalar ratio $r = 0.20_{-0.05}^{+0.07}$, but then says: Subtracting the various dust models and re-deriving the r constraint still results in high significance of ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the total energy of the universe constant?

If total energy is conserved just transformed and never newly created, is there a sum of all energies that is constant? Why is it probably not that easy?
7
votes
4answers
687 views

Nature of decoupling of matter and radiation

I have a question about cosmology. At popular level people explain the time of decoupling of matter and radiation as the moment when temperature falls enough for nuclei and electrons to recombine into ...
1
vote
3answers
620 views

If everything in the universe doubled in size overnight, would it be noticeable?

By my understanding, if everything doubled in size, such as the Sun and the Earth, and because the space in between them (which is nothing) can't expand, would the gravities greatly change and the ...
0
votes
0answers
75 views

Could gravitational pressure act as dark energy? [closed]

The Newtonian hydrostatic equation, which is normally applied to compact objects in gravitational equilibrium like stars, is given by: $$\frac{dP}{dr}=-\frac{GM(r)\rho(r)}{r^2}$$ where $P(r)$ is the ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Why is there a line in the middle of the Planck full sky map?

Why there is a straight line (or perhaps a flat surface) in the middle of the Planck full sky map? and zoom (it makes it seem that the big bang was a collision between two unknown surfaces)
6
votes
2answers
458 views

What experiments compete with BICEP 2, and when are their results expected?

The recent results of the BICEP 2 experiment published on March 17th 2014, has generated a lot of media attention, with the general consensus being that "this is a major discovery" perhaps leading to ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

The 3rd derivative of the size of the universe?

We know the size of observable universe, that it is expanding, that expansion is accelerating. Does sufficiently precise data exist to determine at least the SIGN of the next (the 3rd) derivative? ...
8
votes
4answers
854 views

At what speed does our universe expand?

Conceivably it expands with the speed of light. I do not know, but curious, if there is an answer. At what velocity, does our universe expand?
-2
votes
0answers
37 views

What is the current expansion velocity in the standard model of cosmology (Big bang, Lamda CDM model)? [closed]

There are roughly four phases of expansion: inflation, radiation (red) , matter (blue), dark energy (green/yellow). What is the current velocity according to that model? Ps.: I am not interested in ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Size of the Hubble volume in 4 billion years

What will the size of the observable universe be in 4 billion years? At present day, light would only reach us if it came from a galaxy within 13.5 billion1 light years, with anything outside that ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Center of mass & Big Bang Theory

I have read in my text books about the Big Bang theory and quote "the entire matter in the universe was once concentrated in a single very dense and hot fire ball; it exploded some 20 billion years ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Quasars with differing emission / absorption redshifts

I was reading this (perhaps offbeat) "anti-big-bang" article, http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/hubble/ and the author comments "a recent catalog of objects having very large redshifts shows that among ...
30
votes
2answers
912 views

Are modified theories of gravity credible?

I'm a statistician with a little training in physics and would just like to know the general consensus on a few things. I'm reading a book by John Moffat which basically tries to state how GR makes ...
5
votes
2answers
282 views

Questions about the Jeans length

I have a couple of questions about the Jeans length. Suppose the universe has a homogeneous energy density, except there's a spherical region that is overdense. I understand that if the region is ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Why would a second flat direction spoil inflation?

In inflationary model building, the standard lore is that there must be only one flat direction for the inflaton, i.e. it must roll down a valley in field space. Why is that? How would a second flat ...
47
votes
3answers
5k views

Did the Big Bang happen at a point?

TV documentaries invariably show the Big Bang as an exploding ball of fire expanding outwards. Did the Big Bang really explode outwards from a point like this? If not, what did happen?
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Newtonian potential defines size of Universe?

As I understand it the Newtonian potential $\Phi$ at the position of an observer in space is approximately given by: $$\Phi \sim \frac{G M}{R},$$ where $R$ is the radius of a sphere centered at the ...
1
vote
3answers
59 views

source of energy for expansion of the universe

I know in order for something to expand or grow it has to be fueled by something? So, if the universe is expanding their must be something that's keeping the universe at a temperature high enough for ...
2
votes
0answers
22 views

C and CP violation in Baryogenesis

Why both C and CP are needed for baryogenesis? Isn't CP violation enough?
0
votes
1answer
70 views

dark energy and expansion definition [closed]

I am trying to get a few key points correct regarding expansion and dark energy... Expansion: the Universe has been expanding continuously at different rates since the singularity that caused the ...
1
vote
2answers
57 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 ...
0
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1answer
30 views

Universe in the magnetic spectrum

Can we scan the universe in magnetic spectrum and then separate the paramagnetic , diamagnetic and ferromagnetic objects and get a new picture of the cosmos.
2
votes
2answers
76 views

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

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
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Pressure and Density Using a General Lagrangian

Given a lagrangian of a form: \begin{equation}\mathcal{L}=f(\phi,\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi)\end{equation} where $f$ is a function, I need to derive pressure and density in a FLRW universe ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Difference between horizon and flatness problems & how inflation solves flatness (w/out math)

Layman here so I'm hoping for an answer for my query that doesn't involve math. I'm reading about inflation and how it solves the flatness and horizon problems. I get that the horizon problem deals ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Thermal gravitational radiation and its detection

To my poor knowledge on the topic, the gravitational waves that are most likely to be detected by LIGO or other experiments do not have thermal spectrum. But I'm not certain. I know that Hawking's ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Need advice for self study in physics [duplicate]

I need advice for self study in Physics. I have a good theoretical and practical background in math & statistics, but virtually no physics. My ultimate interest is cosmology / relativity / ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

FRW metric and its validity througout the age of the universe

Why do we think that the FRW metric should be valid throughout the entire history of the universe?
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Quantum entanglement on cosmological scales

This may be a foolish question given my limited understanding of QM but here it is. As I understand quantum entanglement basically means that two particles evolve as a single "unit", i.e., are ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

TEO: raise of a System [closed]

I think this question is settled somewhere betweeen physics and philosophy and we surely can not find a answer that fits 100%, but lets talk about it. While thinking about how the universe and its ...
17
votes
3answers
765 views

Why is the sky dark at night? [duplicate]

The question is the well-known Olbers' paradox: If there are so many/infinite stars, in every direction, why is it dark at night? Where goes all the light we don't see? Discussing with a friend ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

How can the Big Bang singularity exist in spacetime if it has zero volume? [closed]

How can the Big Bang singularity exist if it has zero volume? I tried googling to find the answer - no help. Can someone give a general idea how can the big bang singularity exist even if it has zero ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Could Dust Equation of State have some negative pressure?

Traditionally the cosmological equation of state of cold matter (so-called dust) is simply: $$p = 0.$$ But, in Newtonian terms, each particle is gravitationally attracting every other particle. ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Why is the graph of CMB/black-body radiation asymptotic?

Speaking of this graph of blackbody radiation, I see that the graph goes to 0 asymptotically: As we go to higher and higher frequencies, the energy of a single photon becomes increasingly high. ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

How strong is the force of space expansion?

There are many questions about space expansion, its cause, or its effects. But I have the feeling we never get straight and simple answers. I do not expect answers to be simple in general, but I ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Spiral Galaxies and Gravity Lenses

Spiral Galaxies must have a great deal more mass than elliptical galaxies of the same size in order to account for the flat velocity curve. I've seen references of eight to ten times the visible ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Are there other places to look for the gravitational wave, other than space?

The recent BICEP2 announcements about the existence of gravity waves made the news, and made a big pitch for cosmic inflation, in the process they also claimed to detect the existence of gravitational ...