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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2k views

Why haven't we seen the big bang?

The Andromeda galaxy is 2,538,000 light years away, so if we view Andromeda from a telescope, we see Andromeda how it was 2,538,000 years ago. Now the diameter of the visible universe is 92 billion ...
0
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1answer
88 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
94 views

Is entropy absolute (as in absolute temperature)?

Following this question on the Entropy at the Big Bang where I asked: Since Entropy always increases (in general); its expected that the entropy at the beginning of the universe should be the ...
0
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2answers
61 views

Are we really sure that the whole universe is expanding?

Haven't we thought about the possibility of only a region of the universe is expanding? What about space is expanding in this region and space is compressed in another region, that satisfies the ...
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2answers
50 views

Could the missing antimatter lie outside the observable universe?

While I was reading a similar question asking if other galaxy could be made of antimatter, to which the answer was: if they were, we should detect the radiation from matter interacting with antimatter ...
0
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2answers
117 views

Does the universe have a different age to different observers?

Although I understand that the universe is approximately 12 billion light years wide, and that may mean that it took the light photons 12 billion years at 186,000 miles per second to reach the ...
0
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0answers
26 views

Cosmological Boltzmann equation

Consider the Boltzmann equation: $$\frac{d \ln{n^c(T)}}{d \ln{T}} = \frac{\Gamma}{H}(1 - \frac{n^c_{eq}(T)}{n^c(T)})$$ We know that the ratio $\Gamma/H$ can be considered constant, let us put it ...
4
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1answer
64 views

When they say the universe was the size of a baseball about a billion billion billion billionth of a second

after the big bang. Does that means the observable universe was the size of a baseball, or does it mean the entire universe? I'm guessing it means the observable universe - as we really don't ...
21
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8answers
3k views

Are we inside a black hole?

I was surprised to only recently notice that An object of any density can be large enough to fall within its own Schwarzschild radius. Of course! It turns out that supermassive black holes at ...
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1answer
38 views

Flat universe a torus?

As shown by cosmologists space is presumably a flat expanse. In his book the Fabric of the Cosmos, Brian Greene shows that one of the possible shapes of this flat universe is a Torus. My question is, ...
7
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1answer
234 views

What are the different ways to measure the spatial curvature of the universe?

Just what the question asks. Assuming the Friedmann-Rovertson-Walker (FRW) metric, what measurements can be performed to determine the spatial curvature of the universe.
0
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0answers
19 views

Luminosity distance as a function of redshift

We know that the luminosity distance is: $d_L = a_0 R (1+z)$ with $z$ the redshift. How can we mathematically make explicit the dependence of $d_L$ from the redshift? I guess we need to make it ...
0
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2answers
40 views

Why should I believe that matter does not expand along with the space between it [duplicate]

This question has been asked before under other guises. I am not a scientific profesional however i have some schooling in pyhsics and mathematics and have a keen interest in these subjects. It seems ...
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4answers
48 views

Does our universe have an even distribution of matter in every direction

It occurred to me that it does since gravity in the space I exist appears to be uniform Ie there is no net movement of objects I observe in a particular direction. I maybe speaking from classical ...
1
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1answer
25 views

Null geodesics in FRW metric: why angular coordinates are constant?

Consider a ray passing through $r=0$ in the FRW metric $ds^2 = -dt^2 +a(t)^2(\frac{dr^2}{1-kr^2} + r^2(d\theta^2 + \sin{\theta}^2d\phi^2))$ The geodesic curve is parametrized by the affine parameter ...
1
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1answer
122 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Discrepancy problem in lithium?

Why is there a discrepancy between the amount of lithium-7 predicted to be produced in Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the amount observed in very old stars?
4
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2answers
142 views

How confident are we that mass is not being lost in the universe?

After reading about the latest super-massive black hole in Nature 518, 512–515 (26 February 2015), I couldn't help but wonder if the accelerating expansion is a result of mass being lost. Would a ...
0
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2answers
59 views

Expanding universe - does the Hubble red shift come from gravity? [duplicate]

Measurement of the expansion of the universe is based, in part, on the red shift of light. The speed of light is a constant, although some people argue that it may be changing over time, I am going to ...
0
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1answer
50 views

How do we know the expansion of the universe is “of space” and not “in space” or “into space” or another less intuitive arrangement?

How do we know the expansion of the universe is "of space" and not "in space" or "into space" or another less intuitive arrangement? For example, what implicit and explicit assumptions underlie the ...
4
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1answer
82 views

Light clocks measure conformal time - detailed argument

Let us assume that an observer is stationary at the origin in expanding space. We assume the FRW metric near the origin is given by: $$ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2dr^2$$ Let us assume that the observer ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is the singularity of the Big Bang not considered to be the center of the Universe? [duplicate]

If the universe is expanding, then at some time in the past, it must have started from a single point but why this point is not the center of the Universe. Just like the singularity of black holes is ...
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0answers
21 views

FRW Metric maximally symmetric, derivation, $R=3K$ or $R=6K$ confusion, two different texts

I'm looking at Tod and Hughston Introduction to GR and writing the metric in the two forms; [1]$$ ds^{2}=dt^{2}-R^{2}(t)(\frac{dr^{2}}{1-kr^{2}}+r^{2}(d\theta^{2}+sin^{2}\theta d\phi^{2})) $$ [2] $$ ...
33
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3answers
2k views

What are galactic speeds measured against?

The Earth moves through space at 67,000 MPH. The Milky Way travels through a local group at 2,237,000 MPH. Wouldn't you need a fixed point to be able to measure velocity against? After all, compared ...
0
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0answers
13 views

Deriving General Expression for Total Density Parameter

I'm trying to derive an expression for the total density parameter of the universe, where $\Omega_0=1.001$, as a function of the scalefactor $a$.The expression should be for a universe with curvature, ...
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0answers
38 views

Are ultracold atoms only created by intelligent life?

Nature has particle accelerators that are far beyond our capacity, but occasionally I hear atomic physicists claim that they are able to make something that has never been formed in any natural ...
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0answers
22 views

Are there any in depth superfluid mechanic analyses of spacetime?

Has there been much work done that treats particles as vortexes in a fluid, or dark matter as bubbles in this fluid (bending space in the same way massive particles (vortexes) are observed to do, but ...
2
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1answer
106 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 ...
2
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0answers
20 views

Fluid approximation for inflaton?

In cosmology there is a widely used fluid approximation which applies when the mean free path is very small compared to the scale of observation and then all the properties of stress energy tensor can ...
4
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4answers
273 views

Could dark energy be powered by force particles that obey quantum mechanics?

From what (little) I know about physics, I understand that the universe is expanding due to dark energy, and I understand that no one quite understands it yet. I also understand that the cosmic ...
0
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1answer
49 views

Is our locally measured time actually conformal time?

The FRW metric at the origin $r=0$, with $c=1$, is given by: $$ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2dr^2$$ Now one can change variables so that near the origin the FRW metric is approximated by the Minkowski metric ...
7
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3answers
329 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 ...
1
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1answer
128 views

What happens to black holes if/when the universe “ends”

I've heard several ideas about what happens to the universe when it dies, and they range from infinite expansion and heat death, to a "big crunch". In the event that something like a "big crunch" ...
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1answer
44 views

Flat universe and accelerating expansion

As current data suggests that the universe is flat, a flat universe would imply a slowing expansion rather than an accelerating one which we observe. Neither in an open nor a closed universe there is ...
1
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0answers
140 views

Can the universe be round but still infinite?

Can the universe still be infinite in space if its curvature is > 1? Is a manifold of positive curvature necessarily compact? Does the Tarski paradox have any bearing on the finite or infinite ...
6
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1answer
188 views

Fate of largest scale structures?

In $\Lambda\mathrm{CDM}$, structures form "bottom up" with larger structures forming later. Structures are generally speaking supported by the velocity dispersion of their constituent objects (e.g. ...
2
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1answer
101 views

Question about universe expansion

In general relativity, we cannot determine the global structure of the universe (since it is not flat), therefore all measurements and observations are only meaningful locally. In particular, we can ...
0
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1answer
93 views

I wonder what kind of proof we have that dark matter is really made of not-yet-discovered WIMP particles and not WISPy? [closed]

There is quite reasonable argument by Joerg Jaeckel that dark matter might be actually very light, very weakly interacting particles, so-called WISPs (for weakly interacting slim particles), as ...
0
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0answers
20 views

Do cosmic strings or global monopoles interact with magnetic field?

Does anyone know any phenomenon that shows the interaction between cosmic strings or global monopoles with magnetic field? I looked for that in Vilenkin and Shellard's book but, as I'm not a ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Does time expand along with space? [duplicate]

The flat FRW metric is given by: $$ds^2=-c^2dt^2+a(t)^2dr^2$$ If we take $dt=0$ then we get: $$ds=a(t)\ dr$$ Thus we find that space expands. If we take $ds=0$ to find the null geodesic followed ...
3
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1answer
62 views

The actual space curvature

What is the curvature of our physical space, according to the latest experimental data? I've found it somewhat difficult to find a definitive answer to the question, because the spacetime curvature ...
1
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0answers
49 views

Is the Weyl Postulate correct?

The Weyl postulate in cosmology states that worldlines do not intersect but it can be shown in GR that using Raychaudhuri equation that geodesics can intersect if there is curvature so I'm really ...
-2
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0answers
47 views

Can the Milky Way's halo be considered to be curved spacetime? [duplicate]

Scientists are beginning to understand dark matter fills 'empty' space. Dark matter which fills 'empty' space would be displaced by the matter. The Milky Way's halo would be the state of displacement ...
1
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0answers
22 views

Are atomic energies increasing as the Universe expands? [duplicate]

Starting from the FRW metric (for simplicity flat space, radial direction only): $$ds^2=-c^2dt^2+a(t)^2dr^2$$ If we take $dt=0$ then the proper distance $ds(t)$ between two spatially separated ...
13
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1answer
761 views

Is the “Doctor Who” spacetime affected by Hawking's chronology protection mechanism?

Recently, there has been a paper1 (and an accompanying layman-ized white paper2) on "Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime", TARDIS for short. It proposes a spacetime geometry that ...
1
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1answer
83 views

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 ...
15
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2answers
4k views

Dumbed-down explanation how scientists know the number of atoms in the universe?

It is often quoted that the number of atoms in the universe is 10$^{70}$ or 10$^{80}$. How do scientists determine this number? And how accurate is it (how strong is the supporting evidences for ...
0
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1answer
56 views

How many electrons are there in the universe?

Someone on io9 estimated there were about 10^80 electrons in the universe, but I want to ask the Stack Exchange physics community.
0
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1answer
27 views

Does the readoption of the cosmological constant apply across all models of GR?

I'm currently reading about cosmology, and the reintroduction of the cosmological constant, Lambda, into the field equations, to give a more accurate model for cosmology. My question is this: If it ...
2
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0answers
80 views

Is the Boltzmann brain problem really clearly established as a problem?

Starting from the assumption of a cosmology in which Boltzmann brains dominate over evolved ones, it is not immediately obvious to me that there is a real problem, since only Boltzmann brains ...