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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230 views

Before inflation, what sets the initial value of the inflaton field?

[This is a version of the question that I've revised based on helpful comments from Dan.] I haven't studied inflation at a technical level. My picture of the process is that we have an inflaton field ...
11
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0answers
576 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 ...
9
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0answers
325 views

Do intergalactic magnetic fields imply an Open Universe?

According to a recent paper on the arXiv, they do. How credible is this result? The abstract says: The detection of magnetic fields at high redshifts, and in empty intergalactic space, support ...
7
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0answers
91 views

Does quark color contribute to “spin degeneracy” for QGP calculations?

Like the title say, does quark color matter in counting contributions in a early universe plasma (QGP), as when adding up the total plasma energy density, or is it just spin? The book I have (Pathria) ...
6
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185 views

Equation of motion for cyclic model of the universe

I recently started to study about cyclic universe. I came across this article [1]. My question is about the action that used for describing the cyclic model: $$S = \int d^{4}x\sqrt{-g}(\frac{1}{16\pi ...
6
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0answers
158 views

Poincare recurrence and the multiverse

In this paper Susskind claims that a stable de Sitter universe is problematic (among other things) due to the existence of Poincare recurrence, which happen because of finite entropy. I disagree that ...
6
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0answers
80 views

Does the Standard Model plasma develop a spontaneous magnetisation at finite temperature?

Reference: arXiv:1204.3604v1 [hep-ph] Long-range magnetic fields in the ground state of the Standard Model plasma. Alexey Boyarsky, Oleg Ruchayskiy, Mikhail Shaposhnikov. The authors of this paper ...
6
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0answers
50 views

Status of large-scale structure formation within cosmology today

Since the CMB results of the past decade, would it be fair to say that the consensus among cosmologists is that cosmic strings are no longer considered as a (major) source for density perturbations? ...
5
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0answers
127 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 ...
5
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0answers
93 views

Time diffeomorphisms breaking in inflation

I am currently working on the topic of inflation. It seems that at the stage of inflation, the universe can be described as a de Sitter space. In such a space, all spacetime diffeomorphisms are ...
5
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0answers
126 views

How many orders of magnitude in energy spans the Standard Model phenomenological spectrum?

I am wondering if it makes sense to state that the upper limit is roughly 1012 eV (up to know the physics probed by the LHC seems to be pretty consistent with the SM) and the lower one is ... the ...
5
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0answers
69 views

$f_{NL}$ non-Gaussianity in cosmology

In the context of cosmology, what is meant by "..arbitrary quadratic non-Gaussianity i.e non-Gaussianity that is described to leading order by a 3-point function.."? (.."quadratic non-Gaussianity" ...
5
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148 views

Implications of Unruh-inertia to theories of gravity

If it turns out to be true that the galaxy rotation curves can be explained away by Unruh modes that become greater than the Hubble scale at accelerations around $10^{-10} m/s^2$ as proposed in here, ...
4
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80 views

Victorian cosmology after the second law of thermodynamics but before relativity?

In the 19th century, most astronomers adopted an island universe model, in which our galaxy was the only object in an infinite space. They didn't know that the "spiral nebulae" were other galaxies. ...
4
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0answers
101 views

Which cosmological models support the Boltzmann Brain Paradox?

In this article, they mention that the Boltzmann Brain paradox is supported by 'the best cosmological models.' However, it gives no references, and I haven't found any by a Google search. I was ...
4
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207 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 ...
3
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0answers
20 views

Connection between BAO und CMB Spectrum

I have a problem understanding the connection between the accoustic peaks in the CMB spectrum and the baryon oscillation picture. On the one hand it is stated, that the odd accoustic peaks (1,3,5..) ...
3
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0answers
39 views

Why can't Wetterich's “Universe without expansion” be tested compared to standard cosmological redshift?

I have read on several sites that this is a theory that cannot be tested. Why is this a theory that can not be tested? It seems to me that if the mass of particles is continually increasing, then the ...
3
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0answers
94 views

What is the theoretical geometry of bubble universes?

My research has led me to look into the idea of bubble universes which I don't know very much about. The first thing that I am looking for is understanding or visualising how could many bubbles ...
3
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0answers
52 views

Are there any stable (not metastable) string theory compactifications with a positive cosmological constant?

Previously, on Save us from swallowing baby universes, please!, I asked how we can be saved from false vacuum decay assuming we are living in a false vacuum. What if we are living in a stable vacuum ...
3
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0answers
76 views

Were fermions ever massless?

In a discussion of the Standard model and Higgs mechanism it was claimed that accordingly: "During an early phase of the cosmos all fermions were massless." I wonder whether this claim can be ...
3
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0answers
89 views

At what expansion rate (H) would virtual particles be ripped apart into real particles, and what might be the density (temperature) of such an event?

Is it even possible for a virtual particle-antiparticle pair to be torn apart by cosmological expansion? Virtual particle-antiparticle pairs are ripped apart near black hole event horizons, creating ...
3
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0answers
83 views

Evolution of black holes ensemble

Background: I’ve read many times that arrow of time can be explained from extremely low entropy of the Universe at the Big Bang (http://preposterousuniverse.com/eternitytohere/faq.html). The argument ...
3
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123 views

Questions about classical and quantum scale invariance

This is kind of a continuation of this and this previous questions. Say one has a free "classical" field theory which is scale invariant and one develops a perturbative classical solution for an ...
3
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0answers
42 views

In the αβγ cosmology paper, how do the authors assume the integral of density over time in the early universe?

In the famous Alpher-Bethe-Gamow paper, the authors say: "it is necessary to assume the integral of $\sigma_n dt$ during the building-up period is equal to $5 \times 10^4 \frac{\text{g ...
3
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49 views

squeezed radiation astronomy

Squeezed electromagnetic vacuum does have a renormalized energy density smaller than the vacuum. So it makes it in my opinion a inconspicuous candidate for a dark energy carrier. Are there ...
2
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0answers
16 views

Question on Equipartition at Reheating?

Apologies in advance if this is a silly question. I am fimiliar with the idea of Reheating in cosmology, as discussed briefly here. I have been reading several papers which make the assumption of ...
2
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0answers
87 views

General formula to compute the redshift (first order perturbations)

Consider an expanding universe with the following metric in conformal time/co-moving coordinates: ...
2
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0answers
23 views

How do you extract cosmological constants like $k$ or $H_0$ from the fluctuations in the CMBR (WMAP)?

I am currently reading a book about Astrophysics and also tried to find some information about it on the web, but was not able to figure it out. That is why I ask you guys now. Any help is greatly ...
2
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0answers
51 views

Angles in cosmology

We have several definitions of distances in cosmology. Take angular diameter distance. $$d_A = a(t)\int \frac{dt}{a(t)}\;.$$ If an object has proper length $L$ then the angle $\theta$ it is seen at ...
2
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0answers
48 views

Stringy corrections to Friedmann equation

Does anyone know a reference or a paper which discusses string theory correction to Friedmann equations?
2
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0answers
62 views

What's the difference between eternal inflation and chaotic inflation?

Is there a real difference between eternal inflation and "chaotic inflation" theories?
2
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0answers
149 views

Dimensional analysis to estimate order of magnitude of quantities

In the Coursera course From the Big Bang to Dark Energy on several occasions dimensional analysis was used to estimate the scale of quantities. This almost seems like a contradiction in terms to me, ...
2
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0answers
43 views

Never ending inflation

There are a lot of different models of inflation in cosmology, with plenty of different features and issues. I read that the problem with some models is that they introduce a never-ending inflation, ...
2
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0answers
54 views

what is the radial extent of the last scattering “shell”?

At CMB recombination (z=1090), what is the radial extent of the last scattering "shell"? a) Delta(z) = .... b) Delta(comoving angular distance)= ....Mpc The WMAP first-year parameters give Delta(z) ...
2
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0answers
43 views

Are there multiple ways to determine the redshift of the CMB experimentally?

I know that by using Boltzmann equation and all that one can calculate that photons become decoupled around T~3000K and because temperature scales as T~1/a we can determine that the redshift of the ...
2
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0answers
38 views

Scaling in Vlasov equations

This question is in reference to the paper, http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.7182 What exactly is the argument being made on page 6 and 7? One deduces that the function $\Delta$ has to be such that, ...
2
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0answers
42 views

Regular initial data

I have a very basic question. What exactly is meant by "regular" initial data in general relativity? Does it mean smooth? at least $C^{2}$? All literature on the subject just uses this term without ...
2
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0answers
110 views

Cosmic Inflation: Lower Expansion Rate with than without?

When I read the Cosmic Inflation diagram at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Horizonte_inflacionario.svg which I rotated to make it readable: where the Hubbleradius, and therefore also the ...
2
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0answers
154 views

Our Universe in collision with another one

This question is related to the possibility that there are many other universes in the UNIVERSE,the multiverse, that were created during collisions between membranes, according to string theories. The ...
2
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0answers
66 views

Topological Solitons and the Higgs Condensate entanglement

While focusing on resolutions to the Firewall controversy, and the possible implications of the Higgs field as it relates to the issue, the possibility of using EPR correlations in the Higgs ...
2
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0answers
65 views

How can I read density fluctuation from microwaves?

The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation shows temperature differences. The red and yellow areas are warmer. The green and blue areas are cooler. For example consider this picture of CMBR ...
2
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0answers
110 views

How does one derive the 2 halo term in two-point correlation function

This question is in reference to the paper here. In Equation (86) on page 28, the authors have given the two point correlation function \begin{equation*} \xi(\mathbf{x}-\mathbf{x}^{\prime}) = ...
2
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0answers
63 views

Wick rotation for FRW in quantum gravity

There is no timelike Killing vector for FRW cosmologies. In the path integral formalism, is it possible to Wick rotate for quantum cosmology in quantum gravity? If yes, how? If no, how does one work ...
2
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0answers
159 views

Question on the Gell-Mann Low equation

Question on the Gell-Mann Low Equation. In this paper, http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.3365, page 21, the author argues that if: t →∞(1-iϵ), all the terms in equation (193) goes to zero, except the first ...
2
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0answers
113 views

Can decompactification explain the inflation of the early universe?

I've just reread chapter 11 of this book where it is explained among other things, that our four dimensional universe could be unstable concerning a decompactification transition, since potential ...
2
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0answers
98 views

Is it really true that slow-roll inflation is incompatible with string theory?

In this blog post, Motl claimed that slow-roll inflation is incompatible with string theory. Is that really true, and why do people think so?
2
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0answers
400 views

Is large-scale “time reversal” (Poincaré recurrence) possible given infinite time?

The following are some assumptions I'm basing my question on, from what (little) I understand of physics. I list them so an expert can (kindly) tell me where I'm going wrong. There is a probability ...
2
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0answers
95 views

Is eternal inflation Lorentz invariant?

Start without general relativity. Consider a metastable vacuum over good ol'-fashioned Minkowski space. It decays. A bubble forms and the domain wall expands. The domain wall is timelike, and ...
2
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0answers
178 views

How is the poincare conjecture(and perelman proof) helpful in studying the properties of the universe?

Can someone tell me how the poincare's famous conjecture or its proof by perelmen can be helpful in deciding some properties like the shape of the universe?