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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Is it possible to directly test whether of not the vacuum gravitates?

According to GR, all sources of stress-energy (e.g. everything on the $T_{\mu\nu}$ side of the EFE) should gravitate (e.g. affect the curvature/$G_{\mu\nu}$ side of the EFE). We observe the expansion ...
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41 views

Any applications of kinetic physics on cosmological scales?

On galaxy cluster scales, one is usually forced to use approximate theories such as hydrodynamics or magnetohydrodynamics for modelling cosmological phenomena. I wanted to ask if kinetic theory is ...
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52 views

Misconceptions about the universe - Hubble Sphere

I recently watched Veritasium's (excellent) video "Misconceptions about the Universe". However, he said something (at 2min 25s) which I think is wrong. Can somebody please clarify this one way or the ...
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1answer
111 views

Could the singularity that gave rise to our universe be past-eternal?

Are there any compelling models that include a past eternal singularity that ultimately gave rise to our universe? Does the "no-boundary" hypothesis that utilizes imaginary time have past eternal ...
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36 views

Dark age of the universe

during the early universe and just after the habitable epoch,when the universe was finally cooled down allowing the ions to recombine into atoms, comes the Dark Ages who are currently thought to have ...
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3answers
114 views

Is there any mathematical structure modelling parallel universes (multiverse)?

Is there any mathematical structure modelling parallel universes (multiverse)? If we established such structure, is it science or science-fiction?
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291 views

Is energy conserved in general relativity? Does $\nabla_aT^{ab}_{\rm matter}=0$ represent the conservation of energy and momentum?

For example, the radiation dominated cosmology, the energy density of radiation is proportional to $a^{-4}$ and the volume is proportional to $a^3$, where $a$ is the scale factor. So the total energy ...
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1answer
41 views

baryon acoustic oscillation

I have one question about baryon acoustic oscillation. I understand why we should have the baryon-photon fluid sound wave before recombination: Suppose we have a spherical overdense region. This ...
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2answers
80 views

Faster than speed of light [duplicate]

I was watching a Physics TV show, When someone called Alex Filippenko said that when there was the Big Bang, the Space extended at a speed faster than speed of light. He said that it wasn't against ...
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2answers
60 views

Is dark energy homogeneous and/or isotropic?

Shouldn't there be at least some fluctuations of dark energy in various regions, analogous to the fluctuations we observe in other forms of energy like matter?
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1answer
44 views

Number density of CMB photons?

When we talk about the present-day number density of photons ($n_\gamma\approx 10^8 $ $m^{-3}$) in the universe do we mean the number density of CMB photons? I mean there are other sources of ...
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2answers
871 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 ...
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0answers
36 views

How is translational symmetry related to Fourier decomposition?

The book (The Cosmic Microwave Background By Ruth Durrer) about cosmological perturbations says that because of translational symmetry of the background at a constant time, we can decompose our ...
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54 views

Do gamma ray bursts play a role in cosmic evolution?

If gamma ray bursts were to interact with gas clouds in the early universe, might it be a relevant factor in star production?
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354 views

What is the minisuperspace Lagrangian for gravity plus a scalar field?

In this paper by Sean Carroll and Grant Remmen, in equation (11) they write a Lagrangian of the form $$\boxed{\mathcal{L}=3a\left(k-\dot{a}^2\right)+a^3\left[\frac{1}{2}\dot\phi^2-V(\phi)\right]}$$ ...
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1answer
37 views

Quantum gravity- Vacuum catastrophe

Why does the predicted mass of the quantum vacuum have a very little effect on the expansion of the universe?
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2answers
50 views

Cosmology: what is a quantity that is called “$h$” in regard to angular size of a galaxy?

I am trying to solve a Cosmology problem, but a certain quantity $h$ appears in it, of which I do not know the definition (I have never seen it mentioned anywhere before). So I thought maybe someone ...
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1answer
104 views

How is “little $h$” measured in cosmology? The dimensionless parameter from the Hubble constant, $H_0$

Hubble's law has been well-know for close to a century now. It is written as $v = H_0 d$ where the Hubble constant $H_0$ is the constant of proportionality between recession speed $v$ and distance ...
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3answers
90 views

Can a Dyson Sphere around a Black Hole be built so that it would not radiate significant IR?

This is related to this question If the sphere surrounded a BH and used it as a heat dump (as well as extracting energy from it by dropping in mass) could its exterior be engineered to match the ...
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1answer
53 views

What $f(R)$ models pass most of the known constraints? [on hold]

In most papers and talks about $f(R)$ gravity authors repeatedly state that the model proposed by Starobinsky 2007 $$ f(R)=R+\lambda\,R_{0} \bigg[\bigg(1+\frac{R^{2}}{R_{0}^{2}}\bigg)^{-n}-1\bigg] ...
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48 views

Does Only Flat universe have zero energy? [closed]

Hello I am very new to cosmology and quantum physics. I need some basic understanding (in LAYMANs term )of the following: I read that only closed universe has zero energy. But I heard Astrophysicist ...
5
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1answer
177 views

Does the radius of the Universe correspond to its total entropy?

I heard a claim that due to holographic principle, the surface area of the cosmic horizon corresponds to the universe's total entropy. As such the initial state had zero surface area and later ...
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1answer
137 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 ...
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2answers
72 views

Why do we form cosmological theories based on old data?

Since the light we receive from distant galaxies may be between 7 and 14 billion light years away, the redshift we see indicates that the universe was expanding at that time (7 to 14 billion years ...
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1answer
36 views

Current constraints on lightest neutrino mass?

This paper from 2005 claims that the mass of the lightest neutrino is unconstrained. (see p9) Oscillations are only able to constrain the differences in squares as far as I know, but perhaps ...
5
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1answer
145 views

Speed of light and current dimensions of the universe [duplicate]

I've seen several documentaries explaining that the diameter of the universe is currently estimated at over 90 billion light-years. And which that - in the face of the age of the universe being about ...
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1answer
45 views

Distance between two galaxies of different redshift

Let $Q_1$ and $Q_2$ two different objects in the Universe (we can think to two galaxies or quasars), that we observe from the Earth at different angular position $(\alpha_1,\delta_1)$, ...
3
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390 views

Creation of a miniature universe?

I am not referring to the experiment being conducted at Lancaster University involving liquid helium and a magnetic field to build a marble sized representation of the early cosmos. My question is: ...
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2answers
77 views

Special and general relativity and space time

I have a question. I'm reading The Elegant Universe and it's talking about the special and general theory of relativity. One of the things it mentions is that time and the three dimensions of space ...
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0answers
34 views

Is the scale factor Lorentz invariant?

Given that the Minkowski metric does not change under a Lorentz transformation, the scale factor does not change in the special case when it is equal to 1. Is this result true in general? i.e. is the ...
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3answers
109 views

Why did the matter in the early universe not stick together due to gravity?

(Feel free to correct any mistaken assumptions I have) The overall question I have is: given that the early universe started as an incredibly dense ball of matter and energy, why didn't that mass ...
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0answers
11 views

Correlation length during phase transitions in early Universe

During phase transitions of the second kind topological defects may form on the bounds of two areas separated by correlation length. In early Universe during phase transitions correlation length ...
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1answer
30 views

How was hydrogen gas (H) obtained by spectroscopists? Why is there more H than H2 in space?

Introductory quantum mechanics lessons talk about emission and absorption spectra for the hydrogen gas, and then give you an explanation as if this gas were pure $H$ atoms, and not the $H_2$ molecule ...
3
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2answers
206 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. My ...
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1answer
237 views

Are dark energy and zero-point energy the same thing?

According to Quantum Mechanics is it possible that the famous "dark energy" and "zero-point energy" are the same thing that drives the accelerated expansion of the universe or maybe related to each ...
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2answers
75 views

Where does the energy go when light is redshifted? [duplicate]

Imagine a galaxy millions of lightyears away and, obeying Hubble's law, moving very quickly away from us. Now imagine the same galaxy emitted a green photon in our direction (a photon with a ...
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2answers
126 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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3answers
402 views

Books on cosmology

I am a 14 year old who is independently studying physics. I finished the book: Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity by Sean Carroll. I am specifically interested in cosmology, ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do neutrino oscillations imply nonzero neutrino masses?

Neutrinos can pass from one family to another (that is, change in flavor) in a process known as neutrino oscillation. The oscillation between the different families occurs randomly, and the likelihood ...
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1answer
29 views

Is there any evidence from observational cosmology to say Dark Energy dominated era begins 5 billion years ago

People say that Dark Energy Dominated era begin 5 billion years ago. Do we have evidence for that from observations
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1answer
124 views

Can anyone explain the unit for rate of expansion of universe?

If you google for 'what is rate of expansion of universe' you get Space itself is pulling apart at the seams, expanding at a rate of 74.3 plus or minus 2.1 kilometers (46.2 plus or minus 1.3 ...
3
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1answer
60 views

Where would dark matter be produced?

There are a zoo of dark matter candidates. Are there any candidates which could be produced in extreme conditions such as black holes/active galactic nuclei/pulsars? After reading an article on WIMPs ...
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2answers
194 views

I understand the Big Bang Theory (BBT), but how was the matter in the BBT created?

I understand the Big Bang Theory to consist of all of the matter being pulled into one great gravitational pull. such a great force that it expelled the matter out causing the idea of Red-Shift and ...
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2answers
956 views

When did the first carbon nucleus in the Universe come into existence?

I am a chemist with a passion for astrophysics and particle physics, and one of the most marvellous things I have learned in my life is the process of stellar nucleosynthesis. It saddens me how my ...
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0answers
31 views

A start point to learn cosmology [duplicate]

My major is not physics in university. So, My knowledge about physics is limited to the general physics I , II courses which we had to pass. On the other hand I heartfully like to learn cosmology. I ...
4
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2answers
238 views

Probability of spontaneous Boltzmann brain formation

I was reading through Scott Aaronson's notes (pdf), but I can't make sense of his discussion about Boltzmann brains on p61. Specifically the fact that it says: But the problem is worse. Since in ...
3
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2answers
123 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 ...
2
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2answers
86 views

Explain relationship between angular diameter distance and luminosity distance, Etherington Theorem

I have a question relating to the Etherington Theorem. The luminosity distance is defined by the equation for flux, i.e. $F=\frac{L}{4\pi D_L^2}$ where flux is in units energy per unit time ...
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2answers
58 views

Cosmology: collisionless vs collisional fluids?

I try to understand the difference between collisionless and collisional fluids in cosmology. My first question is the following. In the context of FLRW cosmology, we suppose that the Universe can ...
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1answer
67 views

Stephen Hawking's theory of multiple universes [closed]

Is it correct to think that there are multiple universes? Does my thinking of having more than one big bang?