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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2
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1answer
174 views

Does anisotropic expansion of the universe imply quintaessence?

a Recent paper establishes under solid grounds anisotropy in the expansion acceleration rate in the universe. My question is very simple: can this anomaly be explained entirely in terms of a ...
4
votes
4answers
717 views

Experimental evidence for parallel universes

My idea of physics is that it is a collection of mathematical laws relating observables. And that one can perform alot of mathematical derivations on these laws to produce new laws between ...
6
votes
1answer
238 views

Curvature of the Universe imaginary?

If the curvature of the universe is zero, then $$Ω = 1$$ and the Pythagorean Theorem is correct. If instead $$Ω> 1$$ there will be a positive curvature, and if $$Ω <1$$ there will be a negative ...
3
votes
2answers
247 views

Quantum Fluctuations as a model for the Big Bang?

I have quite often heard (and even used) the idea that quantum fluctuations are a way to explain the whole "something from nothing" intuitive leap. I am about to give a talk at a local school on ...
24
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10answers
2k views
+50

How can it be that the beginning universe had a high temperature and a low entropy at the same time?

The Big Bang theory assumes that our universe started from a very/infinitely dense and extremely/infinitely hot state. But on the other side, it is often claimed that our universe must have been ...
5
votes
1answer
268 views

How did enough material from other dying stars accumulate to start our sun and planets?

How far apart do scientists estimate was/were the dying star(s) that supplied the elements that comprise our sun, planet, and us? With stars so far apart and expansion of space (as I understand it) ...
8
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3answers
2k views

photons in expanding space: how is energy conserved?

If a photon (wave package) redshifts (streches) traveling in our expanding universe, is it's energy reduced? If so, where does it go?
7
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3answers
117 views

Are there any Earth-Meteorites on Earth?

A follow-on from this question, if meteorites can come from Mars, it seems they could have come from Earth and ended up back here (though I'm guessing that to be less likely). Do we have any evidence ...
5
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6answers
299 views

Are there free data available online from cosmology (or astrophysics) experiments that anyone can analyse?

One can understand a subject better in physics by trying to solve as many problems as one can from a textbook say. When it comes to experimental physics and data analysis, no book on experimental ...
8
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4answers
923 views

At what speed does our universe expand?

Conceivably it expands with the speed of light. I do not know, but curious, if there is an answer. At what velocity, does our universe expand?
5
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2answers
416 views

Can the distance of a quasar be determined accurately?

As noted in A doubt about the age of the universe, the wiki about quasars still contains the following misleading sentence: "The highest redshift quasar known (as of June 2011) is ULAS_J1120+0641, ...
9
votes
1answer
319 views

evidence on the equation of state for dark energy?

If dark energy contributes mass-energy density $\rho$ and pressure $p$ to the stress-energy tensor, then you can define $w=p/\rho$, where $w=-1$ gives a cosmological constant, $w<-1$ gives a big ...
3
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1answer
174 views

Smoothed particle hydrodynamics in cosmological N-body simulations

What is the role of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) in cosmological N-body simulations like the Millenium Run (performed with Gadget-2)?
-3
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2answers
234 views

Could dark matter be expanded atoms, and dark energy expanded radiation? [closed]

After watching Lawrence Krauss' lecture 'life, universe, and nothing', an interesting idea lighted up in my mind. Is it possible that dark matter is just spread out matter waves and dark energy ...
4
votes
1answer
420 views

Which Friedmann equation is redundant?

For flat FLRW cosmology, we can write down two Friedman equations and one matter equation: (1) $H^2=\frac{8 \pi G}{3} \rho$ (2) $\frac{\ddot{a}}{a} = -\frac{4 \pi G}{3} (\rho +3p)$ (3) $\dot{\rho} ...
11
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5answers
8k views

Stephen Hawking says universe can create itself from nothing, but how exactly?

Stephen Hawking says in his latest book The Grand Design that, Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Is it not circular logic? I mean, how ...
0
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0answers
56 views

Virtual particles contributing to universal expansion. [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Virtual particle production in space-time. Does virtual particle production contribute to observed universal expansion?
5
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2answers
808 views

When will the Hubble volume coincide with the volume of the observable Universe?

The Hubble volume is the volume that corresponds to objects so far from the Earth that the space between us and them is expanding faster than the speed of light. (I.e. objects outside this volume ...
11
votes
3answers
943 views

Is the observable region of the universe within the event horizon of a super-massive black hole?

Observations: I have read that for a free-falling observer within the event horizon of a black hole that all lines of sight will end at the singularity which is black. I also look up and see that ...
0
votes
1answer
481 views

Does the Big Bang need a cause? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: on causality and The Big Bang Theory Asking here in layman's terms.. When theoretical physicsists discuss the origin of our Universe, the wider consensus appears to be ...
7
votes
4answers
773 views

What does ionization of neutral Hydrogen have to do with “transparency”?

Most accounts of the early history of the Universe make some reference to (re)ionization as being the reason that the Universe becomes transparent after a period of opacity caused by the absence of ...
1
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4answers
515 views

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 ...
23
votes
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 ...
10
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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 ...
9
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3answers
2k 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 ...
7
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1answer
35 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
366 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
766 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
449 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Given that matter cannot escape a black hole, how did the big bang produce the universe we see today?

Extrapolation of the expansion of the Universe backwards in time using general relativity yields an infinite density and temperature at a finite time in the past. If the matter contained within our ...
1
vote
0answers
358 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
238 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 ...
27
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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?
18
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2answers
853 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) ...
1
vote
0answers
218 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
624 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?
10
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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
votes
1answer
241 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
936 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
130 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?
11
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6answers
488 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
320 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
148 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 ...
11
votes
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
65 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, ...
0
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
469 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, ...
8
votes
4answers
659 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. ...
7
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3answers
984 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 ...