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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Big bang and time

I heard Carl Sagan talking about the Universe 15 Billion years ago, and the Big Bang. He made the statement that it was the biggest explosion of all time (at first I thought this a subtle pun). This ...
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1answer
205 views

Fulvio Melia's linear Universe

I would be interested in what people think of Fulvio Melia's argument for a linearly expanding Universe. I realize that the experimental evidence seems to be pointing to an accelerating Universe ...
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96 views

At what expansion rate (H) would virtual particles be ripped apart into real particles, and what might be the density (temperature) of such an event?

Is it even possible for a virtual particle-antiparticle pair to be torn apart by cosmological expansion? Virtual particle-antiparticle pairs are ripped apart near black hole event horizons, creating ...
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3answers
213 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 ...
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3answers
610 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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474 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 ...
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2answers
123 views

Time-like Killing vector in FRW metric?

The spatially flat FRW metric in cartesian co-ordinates is given by: $$ds^2 = -dt^2 + a^2(t)(dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2)$$ As I understand it there are Killing vectors in the $x$, $y$, $z$ directions implying ...
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1answer
126 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 ...
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1answer
91 views

Calculating Hubble's constant at earlier times [duplicate]

I want to calculate Hubble's constant at some redshift $z$. I have found the following formula: $$H^2=H_0^2\left(\Omega_m\left(1+z\right)^3+\Omega_{\Lambda}\right)$$ Now it's obvious that at higher ...
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1answer
866 views

Is it possible that the Big Bang was caused by virtual particle creation?

As far as I understand, it is understood that throughout the universe there exists, what is known as, a quantum field from which, due to its fluctuations, temporary (pairs of) virtual particles ...
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3answers
543 views

Mechanism for the gravitational field generated by photons

This question follows from a schooling I received in this thread. I figured that photons do not interact with gravity, except when they've spontaneously converted into a particle-antiparticle pair. ...
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2answers
516 views

Baryon asymmetry

Baryon asymmetry refers to the observation that apparently there is matter in the Universe but not much antimatter. We don't see galaxies made of antimatter or observe gamma rays that would be ...
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384 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
495 views

Additional merits to Wetterich's “Universe without expansion” compared to standard cosmological redshift interpretation?

A recent news item in Nature promotes Wetterich's preprint "A Universe without expansion". All sounds very exciting but hard to judge for non-experts. As I understand from the Nature's article, the ...
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1answer
42 views

Spacial curvature and expanding space

If we take the analogy that in an empty space the space is just a flat sheet then if there is a single planet or a star then the flat sheet will curve below the planet leaving a curvature shaped like ...
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2answers
87 views

Smolin on Cosmological selection and neutron stars

Regarding the cosmological selection hypothesis and testable predictions, Lee Smolin asserted the following: "Smolin: I did make two predictions which were eminently checkable by astrophysical ...
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2answers
102 views

Cosmic radiation cutoff at LOW energies?

The energy spectrum of the cosmic radiation (not CMB) is limited to both sides. I know about the GZK-cutoff at high energies. Basically the interaction probability for photons of energies above 10^20 ...
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2answers
235 views

Why are we blind for the era before the recombination?

At recombination, Universe became transparent to electromagnetic radiation after universe expanded enough to cool down to form neutral atoms. Before that, the matter plasma was effectively opaque to ...
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4answers
197 views

Expansion of the universe and strain

From cosmological models that involve expansion of the universe, can we not say that there are ever increasing tidal forces felt by solid bodies? If so, the material in solid bodies like metal ...
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86 views

Topics in particle cosmology [closed]

I am interested in learning more about this interdisciplinary approach. 1) What are some of the top questions in particle cosmology (e.g nature of dark matter, inflationary structure, topological ...
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3answers
145 views

Is the universe flat?

There are more than one way to view the description of the universe as flat. There is the description of an open, flat or closed universe in terms of it's fate, expansion forever away from gravity, or ...
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2answers
127 views

How can space expand?

How can space expand when it is only a perception of the separation between at least 2 objects. Isn't saying "space expands" implying it has properties?
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2answers
83 views

Expanding universe and the peculiar velocity

Hubble's law states that the universe is expanding with a velocity equals Hubble's constant*distance from earth. But, recent findings show that the Andromeda galaxy is actually blueshifting towards us ...
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3answers
124 views

If everything in existence were increasing in size at some rate, would we be able to detect it?

Would our eyes observe any changes? What about electronic measurement devices?
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5answers
735 views

Why can't missing mass be photons?

After a star lives and dies, I assume virtually all of it's mass would be photons. If enough stars have already lived and died, couldn't there be enough photon energy out there to account for all the ...
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2answers
189 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?
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1answer
332 views

How is it possible that we see light from shortly after the big bang?

How can astronomers see light from shortly after the big bang? How did we get "here" before the light that emanated from our "creation"?
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2answers
106 views

Size of Universe after inflation

I read in some website that during the period of inflation, the expansion of the universe underwent incredibly fast, and its size increased by a factor of $10 ^{50}$, see this link In this field, I ...
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0answers
88 views

Calculating the age of the Universe now and 30 billion years from now [duplicate]

I am confused about the age of the Universe. If you calculate it by $1 / H_0$, won't the answer be roughly the same today as it will be 30 billion years from now? I know $H_0$ is a parameter, not a ...
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3answers
230 views

Cosmological redshift interpretation

Can the cosmological redshift be interpreted as atomic frequencies increasing by the scale factor as the Universe expands? This explanation seems closer to the truth than the popular idea that a ...
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1answer
439 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 ...
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3answers
881 views

How do people calculate proportions of dark matter, dark energy and baryonic matter of the universe?

The Wikipedia page on dark matter mentions that the Planck mission had revealed that in our universe ordinary baryonic matter, dark matter and dark energy are present in the ratio: 4.9%, 26.8% and ...
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8answers
3k views

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero?

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero? I just do not see why our model must work the way ...
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10answers
2k views

What is the most efficient way to destroy the universe? [closed]

Don't worry... I won't actually do it, just would like to know how.
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4answers
268 views

Can matter leave the cosmic horizon?

Cosmic horizon in the de Sitter space is a sphere, centered at the observer with finite radius where the red shift due to cosmic expansion becomes infinite. Given that no information can be ...
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2answers
146 views

Do the standard cosmology models spontaneously break Lorentz symmetry?

In standard cosmology models (Friedmann equations which your favorite choice of DM and DE), there exists a frame in which the total momenta of any sufficiently large sphere, centered at any point in ...
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3answers
701 views

A Cosmological horizon at the Hubble radius?

I have calculated that if one extends a rigid ruler into space by a fixed proper distance $D$ then a clock at the end of the ruler, running on proper time $\tau$, will run more slowly than time $t$ at ...
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3answers
1k views

How can we be so sure the universe has 3 dimensions?

I'm just a layman here so please bear with me if I don't get all the words or theories by correct name or whatever. I hope it will be clear enough what my question is. Here goes: When I read articles ...
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6answers
552 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 ...
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98 views

Victorian cosmology after the second law of thermodynamics but before relativity?

In the 19th century, most astronomers adopted an island universe model, in which our galaxy was the only object in an infinite space. They didn't know that the "spiral nebulae" were other galaxies. ...
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1answer
534 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
380 views

Surely proper time expands like proper space?

The FRW metric at the origin $r=0$ is simply given by: $$ds^2 = -dt^2 + a^2(t)\ dr^2$$ Setting $dt=0$ gives us an element of proper distance $ds$ given by: $$ds = a(t)\ dr$$ Thus we get the well known ...
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5answers
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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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10answers
233 views

In astronomy what phenomena have theory predicted before observations?

As far as I know, astronomy is generally an observational science. We see something and then try to explain why it is happening. The one exception that I know of is black holes: first it was thought ...
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6answers
571 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 ...
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1answer
409 views

Is Poincare recurrence relevant to our universe?

If the theory of everything indicates a singularity-free and finite universe, will Poincare recurrence be relevant to the universe? If so, is there any interesting physical consequence, e.g. in ...
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58 views

Why hasn't warm dark matter replaced cold dark matter as the standard model of cosmology?

The $\Lambda\rm CDM$ (cold dark matter with cosmological constant) is the current standard model of cosmology because the model comes with a long list of phenomena successfully explained by it. ...
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6answers
258 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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496 views

Is there no radioactive decay between nuclear fusion and solid material formation?

I'm aware my question might be considered a duplicate of this one: Radio-dating and the age of the earth I read that one and I looked everywhere and I still can't find my piece of mind. I would ...
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224 views

Conservation of Energy in the Universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is energy really conserved? Why can’t energy be created or destroyed? One of the laws of the universe that dazzles me the most is the law of conservation of energy. I ...