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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
0answers
131 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?
0
votes
4answers
374 views

What are the differences between dark energy and a cosmological constant?

My possibly mistaken understanding is that dark energy changes with time, whereas a cosmological constant is, well, constant. What about gravitational clumping? Detecting relative motion?
14
votes
8answers
3k views

Reversing gravitational decoherence

[Update: Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful replies! I learned something extremely interesting and relevant (namely, the basic way decoherence works in QFT), even though it wasn't what I thought I ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Has the speed of light changed over time?

Could someone judge my (stoner) hypothesis that the speed of light has changed over time -- ie. as the universe has expanded in volume light has slowed down, perhaps going so far as back to the big ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

In the Wheeler-de Witt formalism, do big bangs act as sources and future singularities as sinks?

In the Wheeler-De Witt formalism of quantum gravity, do big bangs act as sources and future singularities as sinks? A finite time ago, existence emerged from the big bang, and existence will fade in a ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

If the nucleation bubble radius is greater than the deSitter radius, does that make the de Sitter space stable?

In our de Sitter phase, the cosmological constant is tiny. $10^{-123}M_P^4$. Suppose there is another phase with a lower vacuum energy. Is de Sitter phase still stable? The tunneling bubble radius has ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between parallel universe and multiverse?

What is the difference between parallel universe and multiverse? Is it parallel universe or universes?
2
votes
1answer
137 views

variations of Einstein equations with conversion between gravitational and non-gravitational energy

I'm looking for existing papers studying a variation to Einstein equation that does not rely on the annoying matter conservation identity: $$ T_{\mu \nu; \nu} = 0 $$ And instead tries to equate the ...
-2
votes
1answer
381 views

What if microstates increase proportional to universe volume? [closed]

I am probably a delusional crank with a lot of crazy, overly speculative conjectures. If I am not delusional, than at the very least I've been ahead of the curve, the last 40 or so years. I was a ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Can anything come out from the big bang?

If any configuration of matter can fall into a black hole and hit the singularity, and ditto for the big crunch, and there is time reversal CPT invariance, does it mean anything can pop out of the ...
4
votes
5answers
559 views

Space Expansion vs. Relative Motion

Given 2 objects moving at some velocity $v$ relative to one another, is it possible to determine whether they are moving or whether the space between them is expanding?
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Thermal gravitational radiation and its detection

To my poor knowledge on the topic, the gravitational waves that are most likely to be detected by LIGO or other experiments do not have thermal spectrum. But I'm not certain. I know that Hawking's ...
4
votes
4answers
308 views

Could dark energy be powered by force particles that obey quantum mechanics?

From what (little) I know about physics, I understand that the universe is expanding due to dark energy, and I understand that no one quite understands it yet. I also understand that the cosmic ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the large red shift value of galaxies mean they are far away?

When the red shifts of galaxies are large, why do we think that they are far away? I know about Hubble's law, Tully-Fisher relation of spiral galaxies, Faber-Jackson relation of elliptical ...
2
votes
0answers
530 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

As the universe expands, why do some things stretch but not others?

I got into watching a video on Olbers' Paradox a few days ago, and from there read about the origins of the universe, its expansion, and so on... it's always fascinated me, but now something about it ...
2
votes
0answers
113 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
159 views

Cosmological constant of standard model of cosmology and observational data

I am curious whether the current Lambda-CDM model of cosmology matches well with observational data, especially expansion of the universe. How well does Lambda-CDM defend its established status from ...
1
vote
2answers
227 views

Possibility of making dark energy equivalent with dark matter

I was curious whether it is possible to make dark energy equivalent to dark matter. Can this unification be done? If it can, why do scientists prefer to separate dark energy from dark matter?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How is dark energy consistent with conservation of mass and energy?

I initially thought that dark energy must in some way violate conservation of mass and energy since the component of the energy density of space that comes from dark energy is constant, and space is ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Will the Big Rip tear black holes apart?

There seems to be an obvious contradiction between the predictions of the physics of black holes and the Big Rip, a predicted event about 16.7 Gyr in the future where local groups, galaxies, solar ...
3
votes
2answers
288 views

Was Planck's constant $h$ the same when the Big Bang happened as it is today?

Was Planck's constant $h$ the same when the Big Bang happened as it is today? Planck's constant : $$h= 6.626068 × 10^{-34}\, m^2 kg / s,$$ $$E=n.h.\nu,$$ $$\epsilon=h.\nu$$
1
vote
1answer
375 views

How precisely can we date the recombination?

The early universe was hot and opaque. Once it cooled enough, protons and electrons were able to form hydrogen atoms. This made the universe transparent, and was known as recombination. We can see the ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why aren't we Boltzmann brains in an infinite universe?

Either space is finite or it is infinite. a) - If space is infinite in extent, either it is thermal over an infinite volume, or it is in the vacuum state for most of it. If it is thermal, infinity ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

Shouldn't LHC have used $p\bar{p}$ collisions, instead of $pp$ collisions, to study baryogenesis?

Baryogenesis is the physical process(es) that produced baryon antibaryon asymmetry in the early universe. That means, the laws that governed the bigbang was baryon-antibaryon symmetric. On the other ...
9
votes
4answers
9k views

Size of universe after inflation?

Wikipedia states the period of inflation was from $10^{-36}$sec to around $10^{-33}$sec or $10^{-32}$sec after Big Bang, but it doesn't say what the size of the universe was when inflation ended. ...
11
votes
2answers
446 views

Can $10^{23}$ stars be treated with methods of statistical mechanics?

Statistical mechanics is used to describe systems with large number of particles ~$10^{23}$. The observable universe contains between $10^{22}$ to $10^{24}$ stars. Can we treat those many stars as a ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Relation between comoving distance and conformal time?

In cosmology, we have two quantities and I want to understand the physical relation between these two : $\chi = \int_{t_e}^{t_0}c\frac{dt'}{a(t')}$ : the comoving distance with $t_e$ the time at ...
2
votes
3answers
240 views

Which universe had a beginning? The universe or the observable universe?

When we say the universe had a beginning, do we mean the entire universe or the observable universe? Or did both of them have a beginning?
3
votes
1answer
188 views

How could we experience multiverse through cosmic background radiation?

I'm reading a book about string theory, and it tells me in the future it could be possible to detect existence of other bubble universes through cosmic background radiation. Is this true? What could ...
3
votes
0answers
54 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Does gravity slow the expansion of the universe?

Does gravity slow the expansion of the universe? I read through the thread http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=322633 and I have the same question. I know that the universe is not being ...
5
votes
1answer
387 views

Variable speed of light in cosmology

In this paper, D. H. Coule argues that warp drive metrics, like the one proposed by Alcubierre, require the exotic matter to be laid beforehand on the travel path by conventional travel. At section 5 ...
0
votes
5answers
211 views

Is our universe the only universe out there or are there also other possible universes?

There is the specific universe we live in, the "actual" universe with planet Earth, humans evolving, and us discussing metaphysical debates on physics.se in 2012, etc. There might or might not also ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

Reference request: FLRW with k>0, dust, and positive cosmological constant

The exact solution representing a FLRW universe with $k>0$ and dust (p=0), and $\Lambda=0$, is described by a cycloid. What is the exact solution for dust, in the presence of a positive ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Reference request for low entropy big bang

There is a somewhat widely accepted argument that the second law of thermodynamics exists because the universe began in a low-entropy state. I'm writing a paper that mentions this (and must be ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

How can a deSitter space have finite size?

a deSitter space is a maximally symmetric solution of Einstein equations, I have some problem picturing one thing: this space is past and future (time) infinite but spatial slices have finite size, ...
1
vote
4answers
334 views

Can cosmic inflation be explained by matter antimatter reactions?

The big bang theory proposes that equal amounts of matter and antimatter were created in the beginning. Shortly afterwards most of it annihilated. Could that have produced enough energy to drive ...
0
votes
1answer
160 views

Higgs field existence and zero energy

If the Higgs field permeates all space, why some claim, that total universe energy equals (or is very close to) zero?
0
votes
1answer
215 views

What does the discovery of Higgs boson mean for steady state theory?

The relationship between the steady state theory and the notion of Higgs boson is not clear to me. What does the discovery of Higgs boson mean for steady state theory? Or are the two ideas purely ...
6
votes
4answers
708 views

Is space unending?

Is the space unending, i.e it has no boundaries? If yes, how can a thing exist which is non-ending? Its impossible for me to imagine something like that. Secondly, if its not and has boundaries then ...
1
vote
2answers
280 views

$\Omega_{r}$ from WMAP results?

To do some Friedmann-Lemaître cosmology calculations, I would like to know an estimation of $\Omega_{r_0}$ ($\Omega$ radiation today). WMAP 7 give estimation of $\Omega_{b}$, $\Omega_{c}$ and ...
4
votes
1answer
227 views

Is the only diffeomorphism invariant anthropic principle the final anthropic principle?

Quantum gravity is a gauge theory with the gauge symmetry spacetime diffeomorphisms. Presumably the quantum state of our universe is invariant under spacetime diffeomorphisms, including timelike ...
0
votes
1answer
391 views

Large-Scale-Structure (LSS) and the Fingers-of-God

In the Large-Scale-Structure (LSS) artifacts named fingers-of-god are apparent in the redshift space and justified by "The large velocities that lead to this effect are associated with the ...
1
vote
1answer
394 views

What exactly are super WIMPs?

I recently got confused (and slightly annoyed by the lack of technical details) when reading a popular article (authored by Jonathan Feng and Mark Trodden) introducing the concept of super WIMPs. The ...
3
votes
3answers
227 views

What does Brian Greene mean when he claims we wont be able to observe light from distant stars due to the universe's expansion?

Brian Greene in this TED talk about possible multiverse, claims tomwards the end (At around 18:00 mark) this statement. 'Because the expansion is speeding up, in the very far future, those galaxies ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Continuum model of the n-body problem?

Consider a collection of $n$ point masses evolving under the influence of gravity. For very large $n$, one might be interested in making a continuum approximation of this system (for cosmology, say). ...
1
vote
3answers
580 views

black body and cosmic microwave background radiation

Why is the sprectum of the cosmic microwave background radiation (or seems to be) that of a black body?
2
votes
0answers
270 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?
3
votes
1answer
163 views

extracting energy from cosmological expansion

This question is a more concrete reincarnation of an old question about energy conservation in GR. Are there mechanisms to extract energy from the cosmic rate of expansion? putting some extremely ...