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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Curiosity episode with Stephen Hawking. The Big-Bang

In an episode of Discovery's Curiosity with host Stephen Hawking, he claims the Big Bang event can be explained from physics alone, and does not require the intervention of a creator. 1) His ...
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2answers
10k views

Dumbed-down explanation how scientists know the number of atoms in the universe?

It is often quoted that the number of atoms in the universe is 10$^{70}$ or 10$^{80}$. How do scientists determine this number? And how accurate is it (how strong is the supporting evidences for it)...
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1answer
312 views

Parallel universe and Infinite monkey theorem [closed]

Is the Infinite monkey theorem helpful for determining the existence of the very same our universe somewhere else?
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2answers
785 views

Dark matter and dark energy [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Dark matter references I have recently read about dark matter and dark energy, and why physicists think it must exist (dark matter: mass of galaxies are far bigger than ...
2
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0answers
245 views

How does one derive the 2 halo term in two-point correlation function

This question is in reference to the paper here. In Equation (86) on page 28, the authors have given the two point correlation function \begin{equation*} \xi(\mathbf{x}-\mathbf{x}^{\prime}) = \xi^{1h}(...
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6answers
379 views

Why are distant galaxies not actually tiny bits of matter?

Distant galaxies are said to be moving away from the Milky Way (and us) at speeds approaching the speed of light. Since Special Relativity tells us that any object moving away from us at a velocity of ...
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2answers
569 views

What is the current radius of cosmological event horizon?

Doing some crude calculations (using the value of $H_0$ at this point of time only, since it is time dependent but not distance dependent thanks to Johannes answer) what is the radius of cosmological ...
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0answers
297 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 ...
14
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2answers
614 views

Limitations on how far one can travel in the universe

Someone once incorrectly told me that, given the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe, aliens would have to live for hundreds of years if they are to travel distances of hundreds of light ...
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2answers
165 views

following up dark matter accretion in supermassive black holes

A while ago, there was some conspicuous evidence that supermassive black holes didn't seem to be eating dark matter at the expected rate of 70%-30%, in fact, only 10% of the black hole mass increase ...
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4answers
1k views

If everything in the universe doubled in size overnight, would it be noticeable?

By my understanding, if everything doubled in size, such as the Sun and the Earth, and because the space in between them (which is nothing) can't expand, would the gravities greatly change and the ...
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2answers
3k views

The meaning of multiverse

A) I am intrigued by the multiverse theory as mentioned in Stephen Hawking's new book, "The Grand Design". According to his theory, one can have different 'universes' in one ultimate existence, a '...
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1answer
144 views

Polaris distance correction and implications for cosmological measurements

Polaris has been a guiding light of navigation for centuries. But Polaris also happens to be the closest cepheid variable to our sun. These, together with the type II-A supernovae constitute standard ...
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3answers
440 views

Is observable universe an explanation against Olbers' paradox?

First of all, let me tell you that I'm not a physicist but rather a computer scientist with a mere interest in physics at nowhere near a professional level so feel free to close this question if it ...
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1answer
2k 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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0answers
97 views

What's a compact scientific answer to question “(Why there is) / (what is before) the Big Bang?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Did spacetime start with the Big bang? on causality and The Big Bang Theory Before the Big Bang What's a compact scientific answer to question "(Why there is) / (what ...
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4answers
1k views

Do new universes form on the other side of black holes?

I have four questions about black holes and universe formations. Do new universes form on the other side of black holes? Was our own universe formed by this process? Was our big bang a black hole ...
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2answers
276 views

Cosmology questions from a novice

These ideas/questions probably represent a lack of understanding on my part, but here they are: 1) Cosmologists talk about the increasing speed of expansion of the universe and talk of dark energy as ...
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2answers
455 views

(Co)homology of the universe

In this post let $U$ be the universe considered as a manifold. From what I gather we don't really have any firm evidence whether the universe is closed or open. The evidence seems to point towards it ...
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0answers
85 views

Wick rotation for FRW in quantum gravity

There is no timelike Killing vector for FRW cosmologies. In the path integral formalism, is it possible to Wick rotate for quantum cosmology in quantum gravity? If yes, how? If no, how does one work ...
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3answers
1k 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. ...
2
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0answers
407 views

Question on the Gell-Mann Low equation

Question on the Gell-Mann Low Equation. In this paper, http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.3365, page 21, the author argues that if: t →∞(1-iϵ), all the terms in equation (193) goes to zero, except the first ...
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5answers
2k views

Why can't “missing mass” (=dark matter) be photons?

After a star lives and dies, I assume virtually all of its 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 ...
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3answers
262 views

Assuming SUSY is found to be incorrect, what would then be the most compelling candidates for dark matter?

From what I've read, the only remaining candidates appear to be either sterile neutrinos or MOND (MOdified Newtonian Dynamics -- it does seem to keep changing.) Did I miss anything else plausible?
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5answers
1k views

How is distance measured to far away stars and galaxies?

What I need is an accurate description of the methods used to determine the distance to Andromeda. The Parallax method is for nearby objects as I presume. The red shift method applies, but how do you ...
2
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1answer
247 views

Fractal Cosmology and Misner's Chaotic Cosmology

I have a question pertaining to the ideas behind the considered homogeneity and isotropic nature of the universe (at a grand scale) versus the theory of a chaotic and anisotropy structure of the ...
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2answers
399 views

Could dark energy be heat? Could dark matter be stuff that is not seen because of its refraction limits?

Heat has to go somewhere. Would the light and heat of the stars in the universe amount up to being dark matter ...and dark energy ... Dark matter would just be small pieces of stuff. Dark energy ...
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1answer
2k views

How does an inflationary universe solve the Flatness Problem, Horizon Problem and Monopole Problem? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the evidence for Inflation of the early universe? I am reading some public science books on inflationary universe, e.g. The Inflationary Universe by A. Guth. Both ...
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1answer
79 views

Böotes Void and Dark Galxies

Wouldn't it be possible that Böotes Void, a space we generally consider to be "empty" be filled with a number of undetectable dark galaxies?
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2answers
135 views

A thought about Quasars

If Quasars are "beams" of energy exiting a super-massive black hole, in order for them to get through the black-hole's event horizon, they'd have to be traveling faster than the speed of light. My ...
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1answer
1k views

Branes Collision -> Big Bang

Imagine universe occurred when two parallel branes collided, Momentum of Branes converted to big bang kinetic energy after Collision. Thus, high-energy quanta are high-Vibrating strings. what ...
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3answers
280 views

Could some Red and Blue shifts be the result of light passing through “dark matter”? [closed]

As i see it, light behaves in certain ways, as the Double Slit experiement shows, So when light comes into contact with dark matter, it becomes both a wave and a particle, the wave is bent around the ...
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2answers
2k views

Is 2.5x speed of light possible between two objects?

These news are in Finnish: http://www.hs.fi/ulkomaat/Kaukaisin+havaittu+galaksi+et%C3%A4%C3%A4ntyy+maasta+valoa+nopeammin/a1305618680897 The main excerpt is: "Distant galaxy moves away from us as ...
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0answers
139 views

Can decompactification explain the inflation of the early universe?

I've just reread chapter 11 of this book where it is explained among other things, that our four dimensional universe could be unstable concerning a decompactification transition, since potential ...
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2answers
336 views

Did the universe always have 4 space time dimensions?

Is the dimensionality of spacetime in all usual models constant?
3
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1answer
728 views

Cosmology constant as a negative pressure?

It seems a positive cosmology constant behaves like a negative pressure. However, the positive cosmology constant cause a expanding universe. So I am puzzling about this: A negative pressure cause a ...
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2answers
1k views

Equation of the saddle-like surface with constant negative curvature?

What is the equation for the saddle-like 2d surface (embeded in 3d Euclidean space with cartesian coordinates x, y and z) with constant negative curvature frequently used to illustrate open universe (...
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1answer
2k views

Do atoms have lifespans?

From A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson: Atoms, however, go on practically forever. Nobody actually knows how long an atom can survive, but according to Martin Rees it is ...
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2answers
707 views

How is it possible to come to a conclusion that Universe is a result of the Big Bang while we aren't able to observe the entire Universe?

-I'm not a religious person so this is not a denial. I'm just trying to understand the most fundamental topic about Universe. -I know the Big Bang cosmological model is not a law but it's a theory. -...
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4answers
380 views

How was the universe created?

I do not know much beyond high school Physics. Thus, I am asking this question from almost layman's perspective: What, as per the best of our existing knowledge and widely accepted among the ...
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4answers
670 views

Before the Big Bang

I've heard this saying before I don't know about anyone else. It says, "What ever was before the Big Bang is something physics can't explain..! Is this saying true (accurate)?
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2answers
233 views

Problem with Big Rip Theory

I have heard of the "Big Rip" as one theory for the eventual end of the universe. If the speed at which the universe is expanding, and all the matter inside it is moving away from all other matter at ...
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0answers
67 views

Energy can't be created or destoryed? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Conservation law of energy and Big Bang? If energy can't be created or destroyed then how did the big bang create energy? and if energy can't be created then does that mean ...
6
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1answer
294 views

Experimental foundations of the “otherwise galaxies would not hold together” argument for dark matter

On the question of motivation and evidence for dark matter, there are some illuminating (so to speak) answers on this site. I'd like to understand in detail the foundations of one of the lines of ...
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3answers
1k views

Is the cosmic horizon related to the Big Bang event?

The Universe expands according to the Hubble's law: velocity is proportional to distance. There must be some distance, therefore, at which the velocity reaches the speed of light. This defines the ...
3
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1answer
175 views

What would happen in the final days of the universe?

I would like to know the stages of how the universe would end and what would happen and what the possible scenarios are. I understand that eventually all the stars would burn out and that would ...
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5answers
9k views

Is the total energy of the universe constant?

If total energy is conserved just transformed and never newly created, is there a sum of all energies that is constant? Why is it probably not that easy?
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3answers
400 views

Einstein tensor in Friedmann equations : where is the missing $c^2$?

I would like to demonstrate the several forms of the Friedmann equations WITH the $c^2$ factors. Everything is fine ... apart that I have a missing $c^2$ factor somewhere. In all the following $\rho$ ...
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1answer
456 views

Cosmology with a negative cosmological constant

Based on the Friedmann equation for a universe with only cosmological constant, $$\left(\frac{\dot{a}}{a}\right)^2 \sim \Lambda$$ I would expect the scale factor $a(t) \sim e^{-it}$ if $\Lambda < ...
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1answer
98 views

Why is that the space-time associated with the Earth is not shrinking?

If we apply the Friedmann Lemaître equation to the Universe, we find a critical density $\rho_c$ : if the actual density $\rho$ is under it, the Universe will continue to expand, if it is higher than ...