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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248 views

Distance in cosmology

How can we calculate the change in distance over time between (say) two galaxies that they are at rest in respect to each other? In other words, how do we modify the "classical" equation: $$ ...
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1answer
390 views

Does quantum mechanics prohibit extraterrestrial life? [closed]

There is a known thought experiment, connected to quantum immortality: a duel between physicist and a philosopher. Each turn physicist and philosopher fire at each other with a pistol. The quantum ...
5
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3answers
692 views

If the universe were a fractal

Inflation seems to solve many of the problems of cosmology like horizon problem, flatness problem etc. Now suppose, I am a devil's advocate and tries to find holes in this beautiful theory. I argue ...
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1answer
243 views

Shear, viscosity and expansion of universe

What is the meaning of expansion, shear and viscosity in context of universe? How can we conclude a result after getting a numerical value of above terms?
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1answer
770 views

On Flatness problem, Inflation etc

I have a couple of naive questions from the topic of the title. We know \begin{eqnarray} \Omega-1=\frac{k}{a^2H^2}-\frac{\Lambda}{3H^2} \end{eqnarray} Now I read that from the standard big bang ...
4
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2answers
607 views

Entropy of an empty universe

After watching the first episode of wonders of the solar system, one question came up which is not explained. Bryan Cox says that ultimately the universe will be devoid of matter, so not even a ...
30
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2answers
937 views

Are modified theories of gravity credible?

I'm a statistician with a little training in physics and would just like to know the general consensus on a few things. I'm reading a book by John Moffat which basically tries to state how GR makes ...
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2answers
142 views

Star trace in the sky

If the space of universe is expanding at fast rates..(even faster than light) Why we do not see the trace of the stars? A possible answer could be that the stars are only moving away but mantaining ...
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0answers
164 views

can someone review a 8 page essay for me for accuracy? essay is in cosmology [closed]

I am a bio-chemist by profession and recently written an essay for a book which is related to the subject of cosmology. This is not my area of expertise. Is there a cosmologist out there who will be ...
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2answers
150 views

Mathematical Elegance in a Cosmological Theory Considered Necessary?

In general, it seems cosmological theories that encompass more and more of the phenomena of the universe are expected to be more and more mathematically elegant, in conception if not in detail. Our ...
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2answers
329 views

Is our universe a 2+1D superconformal field theory?

If our universe comes from a flux compactification of string theory over 6 dimensions with a nonzero flux, then it can't be continually deformed to another compactification with zero flux as the total ...
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1answer
252 views

Inflation and string theory in general relativity

How can we relate inflation and string theory? We study some inflationary cosmological model or some string cosmological model under some specific assumptions or conditions. Is their any relation or ...
10
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1answer
315 views

Is almost all entropy in our universe entanglement entropy?

Our observable universe, or a subregion of our universe many times larger than the observable universe, originated from inflating from a very tiny inflationary patch. Being so small, the initial ...
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2answers
129 views

Observation of cosmological topological defects

Are there any projects/experiments running for the observation of topological defects (domain walls, monopoles, etc)? Are there any past/canceled or future such projects?
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3answers
368 views

Does MOND make good predictions?

Well, it does according to this preprint for certain scales. What would be a simple way to explain MOND to a layman? Does it ignore mainstream physics? How much?
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1answer
191 views

Gravitational effect of the distant universe

When we observe at close to the cosmological horizon (as close as we currently can) we see the universe as a much younger, denser place. As we feel the gravitational forces from these objects distant, ...
8
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5answers
723 views

Dark matter and dark energy references

I've been looking for questions about dark matter, and I've read some very interesting answers. However, I desire too look into it deeply. This is not actually a question. I'm asking the community ...
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1answer
391 views

Quantum death like heat death possible?

Quantum decoherence is an irreversible process which is the result of interaction of the system with its environment. It prevents interference due to lack of coherence. Environment acts just like a ...
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4answers
1k views

Maximum size of the observable universe?

The size of our observable universe must have grown over time in the early universe. Conversely with the accelerated expansion, I have heard that eventually our observable universe will shrink down ...
7
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4answers
609 views

de sitter cosmologic limit

It has been said that our universe is going to eventually become a de sitter universe. Expansion will accelerate until their relative speed become higher than the speed of light. So i want to ...
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1answer
491 views

History of Man Acquired knowledge of solar system [closed]

I know the basics of solar system like how earth moves around sun, and that we have so many planets, elliptical orbit of earth, and how far is sun from earth etc etc. I want to take a step back and ...
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4answers
797 views

Question regarding the validity of the big bounce

I have several questions regarding the "big bounce" theory. It appears to be popular among LQG researchers. My questions are as as follows. 1) How one reconciles it with the fact that it is now ...
9
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5answers
2k views

Did spacetime start with the Big bang?

Did spacetime start with the Big Bang? I mean, was there any presence of this spacetime we are experiencing now before big bang? And could there be a presence/existence of any other space-time before ...
6
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3answers
522 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 ...
2
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0answers
223 views

Singularities in Bianchi models in general relativity ( physical science)

what are the conditions to check point type singularity in a bianchi type model ? bianchi type model are of Type I,II,III,IX,IV or u can say we use different Bianchi type models having some specific ...
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1answer
2k views

Where does CMB come/emit from?

Where exactly does CMB come from. I've seen it in documentaries as a huge sphere with Earth in the middle. But if all this radiation was ejected from the start of the universe some time after the big ...
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4answers
309 views

Cosmic background radiation

Where/what is emitting cosmic background radiation, and when did it come into existance, was immediately after the big bang? I know that the universe isn't 3D in the traditional sense, and I don't ...
3
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2answers
274 views

asymptotic curvature of the universe and correlation with local curvature

There is not-so-rough evidence that at very large scale the universe is flat. However we see everywhere that there are local lumps of matter with positive curvature. So i have several questions ...
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1answer
465 views

Can the Universe create itself?--Is Gott's Use of CTC in Planck time or less valid?

My question is the title of a 1991 paper by Richard Gott and Li-Xin Li: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9712344 and is also a subject of his popular book, "Time Travel in Einstein's Universe" Ultimately ...
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3answers
3k views

Why does the low entropy at the big bang require an explanation? (cosmological arrow of time)

I have read Sean Carrol's book. I have listened to Roger Penrose talk on "Before the Big Bang". Both are offering to explain the mystery of low entropy, highly ordered state, at the Big Bang. Since ...
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2answers
1k views

How many bytes can the observable universe store?

Is the number of states in the Universe countable? What framework could be used to answer the question in the title?
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1answer
562 views

What is a maximal analytic extension?

Can someone explain (as rigorously as possible) what is involved in analytically continuing, say, the Schwarzschild solution to the Kruskal manifold? I understand the two metrics separately but I'm ...
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1answer
295 views

Volume of Matter in the Universe [closed]

What would the size of the universe be if it were physically possible to remove all of the empty space, leaving only matter?
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3answers
644 views

Do singularities have a “real” as opposed to mathematical or idealized existence?

I was thinking of, for example a Schwarzchild metric at r=0, i.e. the gravitational singularity, a point of infinite density. I realise that there are different types of singularities--timelike, ...
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5answers
1k views

How many times has the “stuff” in our solar system been recycled from previous stars?

Is there a cosmologist in the house? I've got a basic understanding (with some degree of error) of some simple facts: The Universe is a little over 13 billion years old. Our galaxy is almost that ...
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1answer
142 views

Effect of Cosmological Expansion at the Atomic Level [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does space expansion not expand matter? Does cosmological expansion have any effects at the atomic level?
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1answer
211 views

If Fine Structure Constant in not uniform in space what would that imply for cosmic background?

Recently J.Webb submitted paper which has extraordinary claim - that Fine Structure Constant is different in different directions in space! He (with others) measured $\alpha$ using quasar spectrum ...
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2answers
417 views

Expansion of the space-time metric [duplicate]

If the space-time metric is expanding with the expansion of the universe, if I could travel back in time, would I be less dense than the matter in that previous era?
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3answers
282 views

Is it physically meaningful to talk about the arrow of time in other universes?

The arrow of time is a concept that has been around for a while. In modern cosmology, it has been argued that there may be different arrows of time in other universes. Since these are also ...
4
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3answers
498 views

References for ADM formalism and cosmological perturbation theory [closed]

What would you consider the best online resources for learning the 3+1 ADM formalism and gauge invariant perturbation theory in cosmology? (Assuming intermediate level GR and QFT familiarity)
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1answer
183 views

Size of our inflationary bubble

Once again, an attempt to connect popular and real science. I have read that inflation implies our universe should look flat, or really close to flat, because our observable universe is only a really ...
5
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2answers
406 views

Undergraduate-friendly reading material on the multiverse?

I'll be teaching a seminar for first-year undergraduates next year. The idea of my university's first-year seminar program is to expose students to exciting ideas and important texts in a somewhat ...
8
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6answers
576 views

Can (or How) Anthropic Principle be Made into a Scientific Theory?

Anthropic Principle says physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it. I thought it is just philosophy mumbo-jumbo and it's not physics. But I could be ...
5
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1answer
906 views

Can/has string theory solved cosmological constant problem?

Can someone explain to me what the KKLT paper says, and what has and hasn't it achieved regarding the ability to construct solutions with a small positive or negative cosmological constant in string ...
0
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1answer
181 views

Is it a goal of modern physical theory to avoid big bang singularities and how do they approach the problem?

During discussion on another question, the question of singularties in modern physical theories arose. The big-bang is an obvious singularity in modern conceptions of the cosmos. Is it a goal of ...
9
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6answers
580 views

How Does Hubble's Expansion Affect Two Rope-Tied Galaxies?

Suppose we have two galaxies that are sufficiently far apart so that the distance between them increases due to Hubble's expansion. If I were to connect these two galaxies with a rope, would there be ...
3
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2answers
494 views

Is the observable universe enclosed by an infinitely dense shell?

In modern cosmology, it is commonly stated to the public that as we look deeper and deeper into space, we are seeing further into the past. CMB is the relic of the big bang after photon decoupling ...
2
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1answer
564 views

How to calculate the density of relic neutrinos?

May be not neutrinos, but antineutrinos? Or both types? In the last case, why they didn't annihilate and what is the ratio of relic neutrinos to relic antineutrinos? Is that ratio somehow related to ...
9
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1answer
331 views

Summing over topologies

Sometimes in quantum cosmology, when we are thinking about 'wave functions of the universe' we have in mind some sort of formal path integral, where we include not just the variations in the dynamical ...
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1answer
256 views

Why doesn't Brooklyn expand? (Or “Is the expansion of the universe kinematic?”) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why space expansion affects matter? Imagine two tiny spacecrafts that are moving with the Hubble flow and so are moving away from each other. Let's assume that they've ...