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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690 views

What are the theoretical explanations behind the “no-boundary condition” in cosmology?

In his book "The Grand Design" on page 167-173 Stephen Hawking explains how one can get rid of the so called "time zero issue", meaning by this the very special initial state needed for inflation to ...
10
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1answer
539 views

Was the universe a black hole at the beginning?

Big bang cosmology, as far as I understand it, says that the universe was super hot and super dense and super small. It looks like that all the current matter, seen and unseen, were compressed to ...
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1answer
3k views

What did Hawking mean? 'Time started at the big bang'. Book suggestions please [closed]

After writing down this question, I have come to realize that. What I really want is reading materials on the questions below. Before the big bang there was no such thing as 'time' (Steven Hawking on ...
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1answer
369 views

Does the dark matter halo rotate with the galaxy?

If the dark matter halo is stationary related to the arms of the galaxy then tidal effects should slow the galaxy rotation. If it rotates with the normal matter in the galaxy then shouldn't it ...
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2answers
359 views

How to concile flat spacetime and big bang?

After reading How do we resolve a flat spacetime and the cosmological principle? I still remain perplex. Please excuse my ignorance and try explaining to me : I thought that basically, when we ...
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2answers
893 views

Can the expansion space time reverse itself and contract the same way?

If there's a mechanism for space-time expanding faster than the speed of light, is there an example of It contracting in the same manner? If whatever mechanism is causing it to expand, can the ...
2
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1answer
762 views

Superluminal expansion of the early universe how is this possible?

Is this a postulate? I get the expansion of the universe, the addition of discrete bits of space time between me and a distant galaxy, until very distant parts of the universe are moving relative to ...
2
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2answers
237 views

What are the limitations of the FLRW metric?

I was wondering, given how in any other area of life making an explosion spherically symmetric is more or less impossible is there any reason to expect that the universe is? I appreciate that the FLRW ...
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1answer
107 views

Do Galactic Black Holes and Extra-Solar Planets change the mass balance of the universe?

With all the recent discoveries of supermassive black holes being at the center of nearly every galaxy, and the proposed "at least one planet" around (probably) every star. Does this affect the ...
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1answer
335 views

Hydrostatic equilibrium of a star derivation

I've been told to revise the derivation that proves $\frac{\mathrm{d}P}{\mathrm{d}r} =\frac{GM(r)p(r)}{r^2}$ where brackets indicate a function of, P is pressure and p is density. Rather helpfully he ...
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2answers
318 views

Why is it concluded that the cosmos is expanding when in fact the observations are for events further back in time?

Why is it concluded that the cosmos is expanding at an ever increasing rate when looking further out and therefore further back in time? Surely, if the time were reversed to play forwards, the ...
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2answers
369 views

How is causal patch complementarity compatible with behavior during inflation?

Causal patch complementarity is the conjecture that in de Sitter space with a positive cosmological constant, the states within the causal patch are sufficient to fully describe the universe with the ...
3
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1answer
140 views

Why is cosmological acceleration expressed in terms of an energy density?

In the articles that I have (tried to) read, acceleration ends up being expressed as a dimensionless constant (omega-lambda) or else occasionally in terms of a "dark" energy density. Presumably one ...
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0answers
70 views

How is it possible to measure expansion of universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does space expansion not expand matter? If according to Hubble's law space the expanding then shouldn't everything else along with the space expand and we should not ...
2
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2answers
117 views

Will the universe reach zero mass?

I was reading Phil Plait's 'Death from the skies' where it describes the fate of the universe. It describes the period from 10^90 years to infinity as the "dark age" when all the of the black holes ...
2
votes
1answer
467 views

How is the expansion of space itself explained in LQG?

To explain the expansion of space I have often heard people saying that space is continuously created. This picture is usually applied to cosmological scales but I`m nevertheless curious if some ...
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1answer
354 views

how many times have the first photons lapped the universe?

I'm not really interested in the actual number of times, but rather an explanation of a closed Universe. How do we still measure the background radiation of the Big Bang? Those electromagnetic waves ...
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0answers
14 views

Topics in particle cosmology [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Topics in particle cosmology I am interested in learning more about this interdisciplinary approach. 1) What are some of the top questions in particle cosmology (e.g ...
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0answers
93 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 ...
3
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1answer
186 views

The range of light

It occurs to me that the empirical evidence shows that there is a point out in space where light stops coming from. Putting aside the expansion of the universe for a second, and focusing strictly on ...
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5answers
190 views

Could there be more universes?

In the documentary: "Curiosity - Did God Create the Universe (on YouTube)", theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking states that time did not exist before the big bang. The first ...
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3answers
3k views

Value of the Hubble parameter over time

There is something I don't understand about the Hubble parameter $H$, as it seems to clump two concepts together that I can't quite unify in my head. On the one side, we have $$V = D H$$ which means ...
2
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1answer
324 views

Vanishing Ricci flow on a curved manifold

If I understand this right the Ricci flow on a compact manifold given by $\partial g_{\mu \nu} = - 2R_{\mu \nu} + \frac{2}{n}\!R_{\alpha}^{\alpha} \,g_{\mu \nu}$ tends to expand negatively curved ...
2
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2answers
156 views

What are some examples of how the discovery of dark energy can impact other, seemingly unrelated, branches of physics?

We know that dark energy is leading to the accelerating expansion of the universe and therefore determines the ultimate fate of our universe, but what other implications might it have on physics and ...
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2answers
219 views

Can the implications of dark energy be used to bridge the gap between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity?

Can the findings of the Physics Nobel Laureates of 2011, namely the overpowering existence of dark energy (vacuum energy) have any implications in the quest the combine Quantum Mechanics and General ...
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3answers
714 views

How scientists estimated that our universe is 4% normal matter, 21% dark matter, and 75% dark energy?

Is there a simple way to understand how scientists estimated/calculated the following percentages?
6
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1answer
565 views

Is there more mass in stars or interstellar medium?

From what I gather the interstellar medium has about about 1 atom per cubic centimeter. But on the other hand, as they say, "Space is big, really really big" So if it is known (or at least theorized ...
7
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3answers
275 views

Universe is expanding at enormous speed

I'm not an expert but I've come to understand that the universe is expanding at enormous speed. That means that all of the visible galaxies are moving away from us at great speed. I also came to ...
6
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2answers
103 views

Is there any chance we could eventually observe the supernova of the first (Population III) stars

In an answer to my previous question about the first stars it was stated they probably formed at Z=20 to Z=60 and may have had a mass between tens to 100s to 1000s of times the mass of the Sun. Given ...
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10answers
315 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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2answers
428 views

This Expansion-of-the-Universe-Diagram Confuses Me

The following blue-cone Wikipedia diagram confuses me. At any point of cosmological time the encircling horizontal lines in the diagram are of finite circumference. That is indicative of a closed ...
2
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1answer
108 views

What is the best evidence/theory about the first generation of stars

In particular, during what range of years after the Big Bang did the stars form? What is the expected range of masses of these stars and what is the expected lifetime before they supernova? I assume ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Physical laws prior the big bang (quantum fluctuations)

A theory among scientists says that quantum fluctuations caused the big bang and created the universe. This seems plausible to me. What I can't grasp yet is how a quantum fluctuation can even start ...
2
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1answer
242 views

Dark matter and mass-energy conservation

I have been thinking recently about dark matter, and it lead me to the following question. Consider a hypothetical particle which, like the photon, is chargless and massless. However, unlike the ...
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4answers
7k views

How do we know Dark Matter isn't simply Neutrinos?

What evidence is there that dark matter isn't one of the known types of neutrinos? If it were, how would this be measurable?
2
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1answer
192 views

Violation of Lorentz symmetry on cosmological distances

This question is about the domain of validity of Lorentz symmetry. As far as I know, general relativity is a generalization of special relativity. Does that mean that Lorentz symmetry is violated on ...
3
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4answers
650 views

How long does it take for expanding space to double in size?

I have been reading about Hubble's constant and trying to make 'sense' of the theory of the expanding Universe. Is is possible that space in the universe expands uniformly? If so, absent of other ...
3
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2answers
444 views

Big Bang and Cosmic microwave background radiation?

One of the experimental evidence that supports the theory of big bang is cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR). From what I've read is that CMBR is the left over radiation from an early stage ...
8
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2answers
533 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 ...
2
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3answers
311 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 ...
6
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1answer
94 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
1k 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 ...
9
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3answers
922 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?
3
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1answer
55 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?
5
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5answers
359 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 ...
10
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2answers
342 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 ...
2
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1answer
205 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) ...
11
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8answers
861 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
739 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
514 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 ...