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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Which cosmologies support Eternal Life? [closed]

Which cosmologies consistent with physics as we currently know it is consistent with Eternal Life lasting forever starting from here on Earth while preserving the memories of human life? With ...
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3answers
3k views

How would we tell antimatter galaxies apart?

Given that antimatter galaxies are theoretically possible, how would they be distinguishable from regular matter galaxies? That is, antimatter is equal in atomic weight and all properties, except for ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the cosmic “Axis of Evil” problem?

What is the cosmic "axis of evil" problem? Apparently it is a more modern version of the old cluster mass discrepancy problem, where masses determined by gravitational lensing are always higher than ...
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3answers
1k views

How can a quasar be 29 billion light-years away from Earth if Big Bang happened only 13.8 billion years ago? [duplicate]

I was reading through the Wikipedia article on Quasars and came across the fact that the most distant Quasar is 29 Billion Light years. This is what the article exactly says The highest redshift ...
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1answer
34 views

Temperature of WIMPs

As a dark matter candidate, what should be the temperature and kinetic energy (or also the speed) of the WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) to agree with the observed distribution of dark ...
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2answers
350 views

Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and its relation to Inertial Frames

We know that the CMB is isotropic when viewed outside of the spinning and revolving earth. Is it homogeneous? Can we relate the CMB to an inertial frame in the Newtonian sense (in which space and ...
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3answers
704 views

Is the “Great Attractor” an indicator of the “Multiverse”?

I have heard a bit about the Great Attractor (the gravitational anomaly that seems to be "sweeping" our universe in one direction). Someone (and forgive me, I do not recall the specifics) has ...
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5answers
437 views

Can computers survive bubble nucleations?

According to string landscape theory, our vacua with a cosmological constant of $10^{-123}$ is a metastable vacua which can decay to a supersymmetric vacua with either a zero or negative cosmological ...
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0answers
345 views

Is it possible for the universe to be infinite considering Zeno's and Hilbert's paradox? [closed]

I'm only in high school (junior) so goes easy on me. But, how do physicist refute these paradoxes? Considering there are a number of theories regarding the origin of the universe and some postulate ...
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2answers
202 views

Is there a consensus on the fate of our universe?

We all know that our universe is inflating from what is known as the Big Bang. However, will our universe continue to inflate at the current rate? Or after reaching a maximum size, will it collapse in ...
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7answers
5k views

Why is the observable universe so big?

The observable universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old. But yet it is 80 billion light years across. Isn't this a contradiction?
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1answer
683 views

Why is the universe map shaped like an oval?

I understand that the Mollweide projection is used to show the map of the universe. Although I understand how this projection can be interesting for Earth where most populated (and of interest) ...
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0answers
217 views

Presence Of an Another Universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Experimental evidence for parallel universes Is there an universe similar to ours somewhere else, I mean I had heard from Einsteins theories that,actually when I am ...
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2answers
581 views

Is the entire Universe the same age?

Is all of the visible Universe exactly the same age everywhere? What about the Universe beyond what we can see?
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3answers
2k views

What has been proved about the big bang, and what has not?

Ok so the universe is in constant expansion, that has been proven, right? And that means that it was smaller in the past.. But what's the smallest size we can be sure the universe has ever had? I ...
8
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1answer
237 views

BCS wave function in Neutron stars

I've heard mentioned in various classes that neutron stars, like superconductors, are described by BCS theory. I know that in superconductors a key element in forming cooper pairs is a net attractive ...
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1answer
49 views

Why do astronomers say that there is not enough matter in Universe?

I was reading today about the birth of the Universe and the conjectures about the matter that was supposed to exist at the moment of the Big Bang and what can be measured now. There seems to be some ...
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2answers
880 views

Will the night sky eventually be bright?

I have read that the night sky should have been bright because every spot should end up pointing to a star in the infinite universe but this is not the case because the universe is expanding. I am ...
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3answers
129 views

What's dark matter and who discovered it?

I have heard about dark matter that's called the Master Of The Universe. What's this and is the dark matter the reason galaxies exist?
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6answers
472 views

How large is the universe?

We know that the age of the universe (or, at least the time since the Big Bang) is roughly 13.75 billion years. I have heard that the size of the universe is much larger than what we can see, in other ...
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3answers
283 views

What is meant when it is said that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic?

It is sometimes said that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic. What is meant by each of these descriptions? Are they mutually exclusive, or does one require the other? And what implications rise ...
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3answers
140 views

Seeing cosmic activity now, really means it happens millions/billions of years ago?

A Recent report about a cosmic burst 3.8 billion light years away. It is written as though it is happening now. However, my question is, if the event is 3.8 billion light years away, doesn't that mean ...
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2answers
2k views

Why can we see the cosmic microwave background (CMB)?

I understand that we can never see much farther than the farthest galaxies we have observed. This is because, before the first galaxies formed, the universe was opaque--it was a soup of subatomic ...
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4answers
61 views

Can we observe changes in the fine-structure constant?

The fine structure constant is a number of constants rolled into one equation. Brian Cox mentioned in the April edition of Focus magazine that it is possible that the speed of light was once faster, ...
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1answer
192 views

If you removed every particle from space…? [closed]

I'm trying to find something Einstein (I think) said about time...It was something like.. "If you removed every particle from space and were left with only one pocket watch (clock, timepiece?), time ...
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3answers
463 views

If the multiverse and many-worlds don't exist, how should we interpret probabilities?

If the multiverse of eternal inflation and the many-worlds of quantum mechanics don't exist, how should we interpret the meaning of probabilities? If there is only one copy of the universe out there, ...
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4answers
625 views

Are scientists missing the point with distant cosmic objects, or is it just me?

I was reading this article this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13539914 Scientists have discovered a gamma-ray burst whose light has taken 13.14 billion years to reach Earth. ...
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3answers
939 views

Imaginary time in quantum and thermodynamics

The following question is about chapter 2 of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics. I wish I could link to the Google book, but it doesn't seem to have a satisfactory preview to be able to read the ...
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1answer
196 views

Can the entropy of a subsystem exceed the maximum entropy of the system in quantum mechanics?

Quantum mechanics has a peculiar feature, entanglement entropy, allowing the total entropy of a system to be less than the sum of the entropies of the individual subsystems comprising it. Can the ...
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6answers
952 views

Are many-worlds and the multiverse really the same thing?

Are many-worlds and the multiverse really the same thing? Not too long ago, Susskind and Bousso uploaded the article "The Multiverse Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" with the thesis that the ...
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1answer
737 views

Size of the universe

This is really a follow up to the Shape of the universe question. In the first answer to the question, Ted Bunn says: However, the best available data seem to indicate that the Universe is very ...
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1answer
614 views

Has Cosmological Natural Selection been disproved?

I've been reading Lee Smolin's Life of the Cosmos. Great book and it makes a lot of sense that the conditions in black holes are the same as conditions at the big bang. Question is, has his theory ...
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3answers
2k views

Do the laws of physics evolve?

Hubble's constant $a(t)$ appears to be changing over time. The fine stucture constant $\alpha$, like many others in QFT, is a running constant that varies, proportional to energy being used to measure ...
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1answer
499 views

Inflation factor and doubling time

I get the general idea about cosmic inflation, but the numbers associated with it seem to be pulled out at random. For example, in The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene says that the universe doubled ...
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1answer
159 views

What are the viable non-anthropic explanations for the tininess of the cosmological constant?

The cosmological constant is 10-120 times its natural value, but it is yet nonzero. Even TeV-scale supersymmetry breaking can't save it. The renormalization group would seem to imply it ought to be at ...
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2answers
224 views

If dark matter is a new type of particle, what does that imply?

My understanding is that dark matter cannot be (or is at least highly unlikely to be) an exotic form of any known particle. On the other hand, articles about particle accelerators seem to say that the ...
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3answers
381 views

Feedback on the paper, 'CCC-predicted low-variance circles in CMB sky and LCDM' by V. G. Gurzadyan and R. Penrose [closed]

Ref: CCC-predicted low-variance circles in CMB sky and LCDM To all cosmology / theoretical physics / related or similar researchers and academics, Are there some updates concerning the issue of ...
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3answers
1k views

The Pioneer anomaly finally explained?

Pioneer 10 & 11 are robotic space probes launched by the NASA in the early 1970's. After leaving our solar system, an unusual deceleration of both spacecrafts has been measured to be approximately ...
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1answer
259 views

How does inflation drive Ω close to 1?

I'll keep it simple. How does inflation drive Ω close to 1?
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2answers
2k views

How can something finite become infinite?

How can the universe become infinite in spatial extent if it started as a singularity, wouldn't it take infinite time to expand into an infinite universe?
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1answer
638 views

Lawrence Krauss' Theory of Origin

I don't understand how a vacuum, the absence of matter, can hold energy. How can it hold energy when Einstein proved that matter is energy? And a second related question; how does the energy in a ...
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2answers
1k views

Is dark matter repulsive to dark matter? Why?

I think I saw in a video that if dark matter wasn't repulsive to dark matter, it would have formed dense massive objects or even black holes which we should have detected. So, could dark matter be ...
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2answers
785 views

What is meant by positive and negative gravity/energy/spactimecurvature?

I have recently come across some cosmological assertions (based on empirical data) about the universe being self contained in the sense that it is entirely capable of coming into existence from a ...
12
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2answers
1k views

What exactly is meant by the “Gaussianity” of CMBR?

What does it mean when we say that the CMBR is mostly gaussian? What are non-gaussianities in CMBR? How does evaluation of 3-point correlation functions of the inflaton field tells us that there is ...
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6answers
2k views

How many bits are needed to simulate the universe?

This is not the same as: How many bytes can the observable universe store? The Bekenstein bound tells us how many bits of data can be stored in a space. Using this value, we can determine the ...
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2answers
305 views

Have CMB photons “cooled” or been “stretched”?

Introductory texts and popular accounts of why we see the "once hot" CMB as microwaves nearly always say something about the photons "cooling" since the Big Bang. But isn't that misleading? Don't ...
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0answers
350 views

Calculation of the non-Gaussity parameter for primordial cosmological perturbations by the ADM Formalism

Maldacena has used the ADM Formalism in one of his papers (http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0210603) in computing the the three point correlation function (i.e the non-Gaussianity) parameter for ...
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1answer
844 views

Mathematical justification of Hartle-Hawking “no boundary” proposal

In Hartle-Hawking "no boundary" proposal it is proposed that Riemannian spacetimes rather than Lorentzian dominated the path integral near the big bang. Moments after the big bang however spacetimes ...
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2answers
698 views

Can the Big Rip really rip apart an atomic nucleus?

Some scenarios describing the fate of the matter vs dark energy tug of war on the universe involve the acceleration of the universe increasing to the point that it ends up ripping apart even atoms. ...
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on causality and The Big Bang Theory

With the notion of causality, firmly fixed by GR, we derived the concept of a singular point from where space-time begun. Causality alone gives us the possibility to talk about a known past (i.e. ...