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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

3
votes
0answers
50 views
+50

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. ...
-1
votes
1answer
21 views

Is this dark energy/matter?

Regarding dark energy and dark matter. It’s been a while but in my high school physics class I was taught that light energy was massless. However Einstein predicted and it has been proven that light ...
30
votes
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
votes
1answer
28 views

Numerical solution for Friedmann equations

My problem today is to solve the Friedmann equations, for those who aren't familiar with them, here they are (in my specific case): $$ \left ( \frac{\dot{a}}{a^2} \right )^2 = \frac{\rho_1}{a^4} - ...
0
votes
1answer
167 views

How come that an Infinite universe will collapse under gravity?

In this PSE post the issue is about the stability of an infinite universe under Newtonian gravity. Here I'will drop the Newtonian constraint because we know of the finite speed of interactions and I ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Can we solve most of the cosmological questions using the Illustris universe simulation?

The Illustris project (http://illustris-project.org) attempts to simulate the universe in its most accurate form according to their website. With the simulation, they were able to predict the neutral ...
-1
votes
1answer
43 views

How can we detect cosmic background microwave radiation? [on hold]

From my understanding this stuff expands at or near the speed of light -- and it's origins are that of the creation of this universe (via big bang). Obviously, our planet does not expand from origin ...
3
votes
2answers
227 views

Estimating the expansion of the universe using light from supernova

I understand that you can tell how far light has traveled by the measuring redshift but how accurate is this and could it be effected by anything like radiation from the sun it must be fairly accurate ...
-5
votes
1answer
90 views

Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist [closed]

Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist? That nothing exists, not even you or me? And by not existing, I mean totally not existing, as in not even existing as a computer simulation, or a ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

How fast am I moving? [duplicate]

Given the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second and that it is constant through out the universe, (i.e a person who measures the speed of light while standing still will get the same result ...
15
votes
5answers
985 views

What was the entropy of the universe at the time of the Big Bang?

(I asked this question in Philosophy.SE; but I was advised to direct it here, despite it is, in my opinion, somewhat too speculative for physics.SE). High entropy generally means high disorder; and ...
2
votes
4answers
526 views

Exploring beyond event horizons

In the expanding universe the velocity of separation between galaxies depends upon how far they are. If they are much far away will they have relative velocity of separation greater than speed of ...
10
votes
1answer
183 views

The status of the BICEP2 'discovery' after Planck 2014

The tumultous period after the original announcement that the BICEP2 experiment had supposedly detected strong evidence of cosmological inflation in the form of B-mode polarization in the cosmic ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Why can't “missing mass” (=dark matter) be photons?

After a star lives and dies, I assume virtually all of its mass would be photons. If enough stars have already lived and died, couldn’t there be enough photon energy out there to account for all ...
1
vote
2answers
72 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
3k 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?
5
votes
3answers
230 views

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

For example, the radiation dominated cosmology, the energy density of radiation is propotional to $a^{-4}$ and the volume is propotional to $a^3$, where $a$ is the scale factor. So the total energy ...
13
votes
3answers
852 views

What is the most compelling evidence of General Relativity in the presence of matter and energy?

The most oft-cited triumphs of GR are things such as the shifting perihelion of Mercury, gravitational redshift experiments, and gravitational lensing. But, as far as I know, these are only ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

How Do we Know How Old the Universe Is? [duplicate]

It is common knowledge that the universe is 13.8 ± 0.037 billion years - but how was this calculated?
3
votes
0answers
18 views

temperature of electroweak phase transition

How does one estimate the temperature at which electroweak phase transition (EWPT) occurred? Somewhere I have read it is around 100GeV but the reason was not explained.
6
votes
2answers
80 views

Is there any chance we could eventually observe the supernova of the first (Population III) stars

In an answer to my previous question about the first stars it was stated they probably formed at Z=20 to Z=60 and may have had a mass between tens to 100s to 1000s of times the mass of the Sun. Given ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

How can the universe be flat and have no center if universal mass-energy content is finite?

WMAP measurements confirm that the universe is flat within a 0.4% margin of error. If we assume the universe is flat and there is no 'center' then how could the mass energy content be finite since ...
6
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
-10
votes
2answers
259 views

if the universe is flat does it mean it exists only in our mind as math? [closed]

My dad, who is a retired mathematician, has this attitude, which I think we all have as kids, that ultimately reality is made of stuff. End of story. If you look around yourself in the world, ...
5
votes
4answers
236 views

How does the formation of a solar system not break the second law of thermodynamics?

Please forgive: I am a layman when it comes to physics and cosmology, and have tried finding an answer to this that I can understand, with no luck. As I understand it, the solar system evolved from a ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How far away must a galaxy be for its light never to reach us due to the expansion of the universe?

My understanding is that at the present rate of expansion of the universe some galaxies are growing more distant from us at such a rate that light from them will never reach us. My question is how far ...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

Why did the big bang explode if there is no oxygen in space? [duplicate]

If there is no oxygen in space, where the super dense singular object was suspended, then why did it explode because this reaction needs oxygen?
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Universe from nothing [duplicate]

Does this video make sense? The Simple Math for a Universe from Nothing I mean, can I really explain a "universe from nothing" is this simple manner?
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Eddington-Weinberg relation

The numerical coincidence that triggered Dirac to postulate his Large Number Hypothesis can be summarized by expressing the proton-electron gravitational angular momentum in units $\hbar c$: ...
-2
votes
0answers
14 views

Does the concept of the big bang negate entropy and prevent the eventual Heat Death?

According to my understanding of the big bang, it was one event in which existence flickered into life in a perfect vacuum (nothingness). Given that "time" extends to mind-boggling (and immeasurable) ...
2
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
55
votes
4answers
6k 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?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What does it mean that the universe is “infinite”?

This question is about cosmology and general relativity. I understand the difference between the universe and the observable universe. What I am not really clear about is what is meant when I read ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

Can Einstein's constant explain expansion?

I read somewhere that Einstein or Newton believed that the universe was completely static, where it neither expanded nor contracted, but simply remained fixed. It was concluded that due to attraction ...
6
votes
3answers
523 views

The Big Bang in an infinite universe

If the universe is spatially infinite (and assuming, if it makes a difference, that we don't have eternal inflation), what actually happened 13.7 billion years ago? Was the energy density infinite (or ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Infinite Universe and Big Bang

A common view now in the physics community is that the Universe is infinite in extent (which makes Hubble sphere an infinitely small part of the Universe). On the other hand, there is the Big Bang ...
1
vote
3answers
56 views

How do you define a “universe” (in the context of multiverse)?

How do you define a universe (in the context of multiverse)? The traditional definition of universe is something like "The Universe is all of spacetime and everything that exists therein". But in ...
1
vote
1answer
62 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" ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Does the CMB signal get weaker over time?

If the universe is infinite or flat, then this isn't true (I guess). But if the universe is finite, then as it expands wouldn't the CMB signal weaker at any given point over time?
1
vote
2answers
47 views

Do things in the universe get farther apart or bigger? (Amateur)

To start off I would like to say I am a complete amateur and have no experience in physics! I am just a sophomore in high school with some questions. Now that that is out of the way. There are many ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Light speed after the Big Bang

We know that immediately after the Big Bang space was opaque to light. As space expanded, light could travel. However I would think that as space expanded at some de sites the light would be much ...
4
votes
1answer
110 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Quantum Wavefunctions Without Space

A handful of physicists have a rather peculiar definition of 'nothing' in terms of cosmology. Their claim is that the Universe, assuming it has 0 total energy, could have arisen from nothing but ...
0
votes
2answers
24 views

entropy-infomartion correlation at preliminary universe?

according to the theory of cosmic inflation after Alan Guth, the information should have travelled 100 times the speed of light at the very beginning after the big bang. -when we talk about ...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

How much real and how much relative is our universe?

Apologies in advance if my question appears more philosophical than practical. It is indeed philosophy, but a philosophy relating to our scientific understanding of the universe as a whole. Special ...
7
votes
2answers
492 views

How would the universe be different if the electron mass was twice as large? [closed]

Would the universe even start? Would it collapse or act differently? What if, instead, the mass changed right now? Edit: Since this is too broad lets narrow it to two scenarios: What happens to ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

How can a black hole zap a galaxy into existence?

I am referring to this picture published here. Apparently super massive black holes emit radiation and matter in astrophysical jets. And these jets can form galaxies. I have some questions: Isn't ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Can the vacuum energy be made finite with quantized space

From what I know the reason we have infinite vacuum energy is because according to Quantum Field Theory at every point in space we something analogous to a harmonic oscillator but since the Zero Point ...
-1
votes
2answers
71 views

Is the big bang a fact? [duplicate]

I have watched many physics debated and in everyone of them, physicists take big bang for granted. But, is the big bang actually proven, or there are many evidence that indicate that it did happen?
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Neutrino decoupling and units

I have a problem that states: In the early Universe, neutrinos can be created and destroyed by the process: \begin{equation} \nu \bar{\nu} \leftrightarrow e^{+}e^{-} \end{equation} The thermally ...