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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Non-zero net charge on cosmological scale

It seems very clear, that because atoms and ion compounds are electrically neutral, our world seems to consist of an equal amount of positive and negative charge resulting in a zero net charge. What ...
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1answer
369 views

Surely proper time expands like proper space?

The FRW metric at the origin $r=0$ is simply given by: $$ds^2 = -dt^2 + a^2(t)\ dr^2$$ Setting $dt=0$ gives us an element of proper distance $ds$ given by: $$ds = a(t)\ dr$$ Thus we get the well known ...
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7answers
1k views

Mathematically possible vs physically probable outcomes

A good buddy of mine and I have had a friendly debate about the origins of the current state of our universe (namely; Earth and life on Earth) and have fundamentally disagreed in our stances with ...
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2answers
40 views

Redshift 1+z - CMB Temperature lower?

I know that $\frac{\lambda_2}{\lambda_1} = 1 + z$ Suppose a galaxy had redshfit $z=3$. Does this mean that the wavelength becomes $4\lambda$? Then by wien's law where $\lambda \propto \frac{1}{T}$, ...
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1answer
78 views

Reconciling “The Big Crunch” with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Assume "The Big Crunch" scenario (the universe will collapse to a singularity). In this case, I think of the entire universe as an isolated system; in the "Big Crunch" scenario, it seems to me gravity ...
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3answers
96 views

If we say the universe is expanding, shouldn't it be expanding relative to something?

I don't understand, if everything in this world is relative to something else, then cannot we essentially say that nothing exists independently? We say that the universe is considered to be the ...
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1answer
122 views

Non-stationary spacetime

What is an example for a spacetime that is non-stationary that is considered as a description of something in nature? So far all the spacetimes I encounted have always been stationary ...
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1answer
88 views

Aside from Noether's theorem, what other concepts would explain energy conservation?

Energy is defined more in the mathematical sense, and tends to show true with observations in the physical world. But why is energy conserved aside from "Noether's theorem"? In a closed system that ...
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0answers
26 views

Question about Hubble's Law - expansion vs receding velocity [duplicate]

The distance to the galaxy NGC3198 is found to be $15.9 MPc$ and recession velocity is $680km s^{-1}$. What value of Hubble Constant is implied? If $H_0$ is in fact $72 km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}$, what ...
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1answer
23 views

The Helium mass fraction from the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

In Perkin's book Particle Astrophysics (page 144): I do not understand how one comes to the following expression (the second equality with $r$) for the Helium mass fraction due to the Big Bang ...
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2answers
69 views

Abundances of the light element of the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

This question is related to the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis of light elements, more concretely I do not understand some features of the graph Why do the $^3$He and D abundances go down with ...
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2answers
79 views

Entropy was created after inflation?

I'm puzzeled by a statement in Big Bang Cosmology-review about the reheating phase subsequent to the exponential expansion during inflation: In this reheating process, entropy has been created ...
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1answer
68 views

Homogeneity of space

How do I verify homogeneity and isotropy of space, for example for hyperbolic space? My idea is to verify that Lorentz transformations in 4-vectors can move any desired point on the hyperboloid into ...
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4answers
516 views

With redshift, energy is lost. Where does it go? [duplicate]

A photon emitted by a distant source billions of light years away arrives here with a lower frequency hence less energy than it started with. What happened to the energy?
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1answer
53 views

Origin of Space-time fabric

I have seen on this site some questions regarding the nature of gravitational-force, and the ways in which it could be interpreted. Most of them mention that the space-time fabric came into existence ...
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1answer
35 views

What is intrinsic gravitational entropy

What is "intrinsic gravitational entropy"? Does it have to do with dark matter or coarse graining in the universe? Is it unique to general relativity, or there are predictions from quantum mechanics ...
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2answers
106 views

How does the evolution 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 ...
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2answers
63 views

What is the error in the measured value of the Hubble Constant?

I've found on the internet that the Hubble constant has been measured to be about $2.3\times 10^{-18} \, \mathrm{s}^{-1}$ Does anyone know what the current error bounds are on this value?
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5answers
188 views

Is the universe expanding at a speed of almost $2c$?

I've been told nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Therefore, from my vantage point the diameter of the universe is increasing at a rate of $2c$. Are there any flaws in my thinking?
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0answers
52 views

Does cosmological time expand like space does?

The FRW metric is given by: $$ds^2=-dt^2+a^2(t)\ dr^2$$ where $ds$ is an interval of proper length, $dt$ is an interval of cosmic time, $dr$ is an interval of co-moving co-ordinate distance and $a(t)$ ...
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1answer
30 views

Factors in predictions for Tolman's Surface Brightness Test?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolman_surface_brightness_test It says: In a simple (static and flat) universe, the light received from an object drops inversely with the square of its distance, but ...
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1answer
121 views

Time slowing down vs. universe expanding

Einstein said that it is impossible to distinguish between the effect of gravity and acceleration (so if you stand in an accelerating elevator in space it would not feel any different than if you were ...
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1answer
143 views

What does QM say about the past rather than the future?

In QM, the wave function (in the Copenhagen interpretation) is not an actual physical wave but a device to derive probabilities about the outcomes of experiments. The wave function encodes all the ...
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1answer
195 views

Why does the Hubble parameter keep getting smaller if the expansion of the universe accelerates?

Suppose a region of space at a distance D from Earth is escaping from us with the velocity v. Since it seems like the expansion of the universe is accelerating, things at D from Earth should be ...
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3answers
576 views

Dark Energy / Accelerating universe: naive question

Folks, I have a naive question regarding the subject of dark energy and an accelerating universe: From what I understand/read, it seems that the further we look out into deep space, the faster the ...
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0answers
15 views

Dependence of the neutron-freeze-out temperature

What is the physical explanation for the dependence for the freeze-out temperature $T_\text{F0}$ of the neutrons as a function of the number of degrees of freedom $g^\star$? ...
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1answer
70 views

Infinite number of galaxies?

I understand that the current estimate for the number of galaxies in the observable universe is about 100-200 billion. Is there anything in our understanding of physics and the evolution of the ...
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4answers
87 views

Is it possible that galaxies' redshift is caused by something else than the expansion of space?

I was thinking that maybe photons loss energy naturally when they travel great distances. Or maybe the mass of all matter is increasing over time and therefore photons emitted in the past are ...
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2answers
72 views

What is chaotic about Chaotic Inflation?

Chaos is defined as an aperiodic long-termed behavior, that is very sensitive to initial conditions. Now from this definition I can only conclude that the adjective 'chaos' is a mere analogy, since ...
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1answer
101 views

Hubble time and its derivation? [duplicate]

I know the derivation of Hubble time goes something like this (I am an a-level student so this may not be the actual derivation): Two galaxy that is moving away from each other at speed v are now D ...
5
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1answer
41 views

The initial conditions of the CMB spectrum

The CMB spectrum shows the intensity of fluctuation at a certain angular scale: The achievement is the correspondence between the predicted power spectrum and the observed one. My question is as ...
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0answers
35 views

Hawking radiation at the mouth of Schwarzschild wormholes

I was researching a question for another post and it occurred to me that you might expect to see Hawking radiation at the mouth of wormholes. Given the mechanism of Hawking radiation at the event ...
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8answers
3k views

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero?

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero? I just do not see why our model must work the way ...
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1answer
223 views

Frequency of cosmic microwave background

Some people refer to cosmic microwave background's (CMB) frame of reference as an absolute one. If I understand correctly, we can measure 'absolute' velocity in this frame by using the Doppler effect. ...
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0answers
26 views

Dimension of galaxy filaments

Galaxy filaments are amongst the largest known cosmic structures in the universe. They [...] form the boundaries between large voids in the universe. As their name suggests filaments are ...
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2answers
81 views

Smolin on Cosmological selection and neutron stars

Regarding the cosmological selection hypothesis and testable predictions, Lee Smolin asserted the following: "Smolin: I did make two predictions which were eminently checkable by astrophysical ...
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1answer
61 views

Is the universe expanding faster than we could catch up with it? [closed]

Like the title says, could we ever catch up with the expanding universe?
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1answer
18 views

Cosmic Microwave Background and heat flow

Can the fact that energy is distributed homogeneously in the universe be explained through heat flow and not the Cosmic Microwave Background(or in other words, can we say CMB is a result of heat flow ...
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1answer
97 views

Differentiating the gravitational redshift and the cosmological redshift?

If general relativity accounts for a redshift, independent of inflation, how can we still know that inflation is viable? Moreover, how do we differentiate the the gravitational redshift and the ...
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2answers
46 views

The relationship between the Hubble Constant and cosmological time [duplicate]

I am a first year student at varsity and I am new to Astronomy. A question came up in my tut asking about the Hubble constant and cosmological time. I couldn't answer it because I have not understood ...
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2answers
112 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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0answers
20 views

Linear size of everything in the Universe is doubled overnight [duplicate]

Suppose the linear size of everything is doubled overnight. Can you test the statement by measuring sizes by a meter stick? Can you test it by using the fact that the speed of light is a universal ...
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1answer
26 views

Luminosity distance from angular diameter distance

Consider that I know the cosmological angular diameter distance at a given redshift : $$D_{A}\left(z\right)=\frac{x_{object}}{\theta_{observer}}$$ Is there a general formula to compute the ...
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1answer
51 views

One more (maybe the final) Amateur's Question on Black Holes

Electromagnetic waves travel mostly in vacuum medium, in outer space, but sometimes in gaseous media, such as in gaseous atmospheres involved in nebulae. If electromagnetic-waves come anywhere in the ...
5
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1answer
317 views

Amateur's question on Black Holes [duplicate]

Black holes are caused by massive curvature of the fabric of space-time. Is it right in believing theoretically that forces of electromagnetic origin could also lead to distortion of the fabric of ...
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2answers
663 views

Can the coordinate of the big bang point be calculated via observed universe or it is impossible? [duplicate]

We know all galaxies spread out after Big Bang theory.The key idea is that the universe is expanding after that theory. Can we play back the scenes via observable universe (galaxies) and can we ...
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0answers
19 views

Angular and luminosity distance in general?

Consider a non-Friedmannian Universe in which we know the trajectories of photons, ie in which we know null geodesics $\left(\eta, x^{1}, x^{2}, x^{3}, a, z\right)$ where : $\eta$ is the conformal ...
3
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0answers
52 views

Dark Matter and Modified Gravity

Could someone please explain briefly or refer me to an article or manuscript that shows how f(R) modified gravity theories can be used to explain the problem of Dark Matter, particularly Galaxy ...
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2answers
197 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, ...
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0answers
25 views

If the universe has a shape, what is the surface? [duplicate]

Since the idea of the universe was that it was expanding, is there a way to know the surface area of the universe like the growing 3D object it is illustrated? The idea was that the universe was ...