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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What is the meaning of colors in deep space pictures? [closed]

Are the telescopes really capturing these colors in deep space or are they just "artist's impression". What could make such vast space "red" or "green"?
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2answers
496 views

Is eternal inflation and the multiverse compatible with causal patch complementarity?

The argument for eternal inflation is we have some patch of metastable vacuum with positive cosmological constant, and so it expands exponentially a la de Sitter. Most of the patch decays to something ...
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3answers
295 views

Why every galaxy is moving away from every other galaxy on astronomical scale? because of an explosion or because of creation of space?

Why galaxies move away from each other in general on the astronomical scale? Which answer is correct of the following? It is because of the big bang theory, everything is just moving away from ...
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1answer
86 views

Are there stable string theory vacua with non-minimal cosmological constant?

Naive reasoning suggests that a string theory vacuum with cosmological constant Lambda1 is always unstable as long as there is a string theory vacuum with cosmological constant Lambda2 < Lambda1 ...
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5answers
852 views

Does (it make sense to say that ) the universe has a center?

I was reading this page: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/oct/23/brian-cox-jeff-forshaw-answers and I found this sentence by Brian Cox: That seems to imply that everything is flying away ...
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3answers
591 views

Could a ship equipped with Alcubierre drive theoretically escape from a black hole?

Could a ship equipped with Alcubierre drive theoretically escape from a black hole? Also, could it reach parts of the universe that are receding faster than the speed of light from us?
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1answer
47 views

What happens when astronomical bodies made up of Dark Matter collapse or collide?

Does dark matter not produce heat or radiation after a collision etc? Or, we detect radiations having no generators?
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5answers
286 views

Is dark matter around the Milky Way spread in a spiral shape (or, in a different shape)?

Dark matter doesn't interact with electromagnetic radiation, but it, at least, participates in gravitational interactions as known from the discovery of dark matter. But does dark matter exist in a ...
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2answers
275 views

How fast is the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) changing?

I know that the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) is the leftover radiation from the "surface of last scattering". However, at every instant the surface is changing (at the rate of flow ...
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1answer
195 views

The topology of a “closed” universe - is it really closed?

The spatial part of the positive curvature FRW metric has the form \begin{equation} ds^2=\frac{dr^2}{1-(r/R)^2}+r^2d\Omega^2 \end{equation} or \begin{equation} ds^2=R^2(d\chi^2+\sin{\chi}^2d\Omega^2) ...
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8answers
802 views

Mathematical Universe Hypothesis

What is the current "consensus" on Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH) which claims every concievable mathematical structure exists, including infinite different Universes etc. I ...
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1answer
559 views

Sympletic structure of General Relativity

Inspired by physics.SE: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/15571/does-the-dimensionality-of-phase-space-go-up-as-the-universe-expands/15613 It made me wonder about symplectic structures in ...
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3answers
448 views

Does the dimensionality of phase space go up as the universe expands?

Ever since Hubble, it is well known that the universe is expanding from a Big Bang. The size of the universe had gone up by many many orders of magnitude as space expanded. If the dimensionality of ...
5
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3answers
506 views

Could the acceleration of universe expansion be caused by gravity itself?

Dark energy is suggested to be a repulsive force in the universe causing an accelerated expansion. If the amount of mass outside our observable universe is greater than inside (higher mass density), ...
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1answer
89 views

Cosmic bubble collision

I'm reading this review right now. The claim seems to be that when you have an expanding "false vacuum", finite size bubbles form due to phase transition (cause by finite action instantons) (which, in ...
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3answers
296 views

What was so surprising about accelerating cosmological expansion?

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, as far as I understand, concerns the expanding universe -- galaxies moving away from each other at ever increasing speed (that's what I think I read in newspapers). ...
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1answer
576 views

Does the heat death of the universe really imply a maximum entropy state *all* of the time? Or most of the time?

Statistically speaking, you're going to still encounter deviations from equilibrium, even though the expected value is equilibrium. But these rare deviations from equilibrium - which are inevitable - ...
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5answers
2k views

What is the extent of the universe?

Is there any realistic, understandable, provable (even in some extent) explanation/model for the extent of the universe? What is its shape? and Why? I mean physical explanations not philosophical ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do neutrino oscillations imply nonzero neutrino masses?

Neutrinos can pass from one family to another (that is, change in flavor) in a process known as neutrino oscillation. The oscillation between the different families occurs randomly, and the likelihood ...
2
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1answer
216 views

The relation between the speed of light and the Big Bang Theory

I would like to know how much of the Big Bang theory is dependent on the constancy of the speed of light. P.S.: It might be guessed that I am asking this because of the recent CERN news. Yes, of ...
2
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0answers
267 views

Why do galaxies collide? Reconciling dark energy and an expanding universe with the fact that some galaxies are on a collision course

My layman understanding of cosmology is: galaxies are uniformly (more or less) spread throughout the universe, per the Big Bang and the fact that in a central explosion, all dispersed points are ...
5
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1answer
394 views

How and why will the Milky way collide with the Andromeda?

Hubble's law says that the universe is expanding.How come the milky way and the andromeda are on a collision course?How will they end up colliding with each other?
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2answers
1k views

How long did inflation take to happen?

If inflation happened, it ended about 13.7 billion years ago. But how long was inflation going on before that? Was it just a short burst of time so that it's really okay to say that the age of the ...
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0answers
130 views

Confusion with infinity and time [closed]

I have some confusion between with resolving the following situation. I know that no measurable quantity can have a value of infinity. For example, I just wrote something out, but clearly this ...
2
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1answer
181 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 ...
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4answers
755 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 ...
7
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1answer
257 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 ...
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2answers
253 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 ...
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11answers
2k views

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
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1answer
297 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) ...
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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
122 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 ...
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6answers
370 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 ...
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4answers
980 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?
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2answers
457 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, ...
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1answer
326 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 ...
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1answer
187 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)?
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2answers
249 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
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1answer
434 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} ...
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5answers
10k 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 ...
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57 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?
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2answers
863 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
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3answers
1k 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
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1answer
511 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
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4answers
907 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 ...
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4answers
530 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 ...
25
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3answers
4k 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
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 ...
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1answer
41 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 ...