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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27
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4answers
3k views

Why does a flat universe imply an infinite universe?

This article claims that because the universe appears to be flat, it must be infinite. I've heard this idea mentioned in a few other places, but they never explain the reasoning at all.
27
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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 ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Does the amount of gravitational potential energy in the universe increase as it expands?

It seems to me that extra gravitational potential energy is created as the universe expands and the distance between massive objects such as galaxy clusters increases; this implies that energy is not ...
10
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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.
6
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3answers
681 views

Other explanation for cosmological redshift?

I'm interested if any of the following explanations have enough predictive capability to explain the observations we see today. The claim is that the Universe is not expanding, and that red-shift of ...
10
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4answers
400 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 ...
7
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2answers
174 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 ...
7
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3answers
833 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 ...
7
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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 ...
9
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6answers
581 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 ...
5
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0answers
111 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
562 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 ...
2
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1answer
390 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 ...
15
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5answers
1k views

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 ...
13
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1answer
260 views

As the universe expands, the wavelengths of photons are stretched, and energy is lost. What about electrons?

Will electrons, and other particles, also loose energy as they travel through the cosmos? They have wavelengths. Do they get "stretched"? My guess is that the EM force, somehow, counteracts this ...
13
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10answers
241 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 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Is dark matter repulsive to dark matter? Why?

I think I saw in a video that if dark matter wasn't repulsive to dark matter, it would have formed dense massive objects or even black holes which we should have detected. So, could dark matter be ...
9
votes
1answer
386 views

Are the distances we measure to objects in the universe incorrect because of their relative motion?

For example the agreed distance to the Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light years, and consequentially, we see the galaxy as it was 2.5 million years ago! (A time interval in which the galaxy must ...
8
votes
6answers
576 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 ...
6
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0answers
79 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. ...
6
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1answer
147 views

Differentiating the gravitational redshift and the cosmological redshift?

If general relativity accounts for a redshift, independent of inflation, how can we still know that inflation is viable? Moreover, how do we differentiate the the gravitational redshift and the ...
6
votes
1answer
574 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
281 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
768 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 ...
4
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0answers
243 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Relation between multipole moment and angular scale of CMB

What is the relation between multipole moment $l$ and angular scale $\theta$ of the Cosmic Microwave Background? Somewhere on the web I found that $\theta\propto\frac{180^{\circ}}{l}$ but I need exact ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Zero energy universe

Regarding this thread: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=506985 Why is the idea that the total energy in the universe "zero" so popular (re: Laurence Krauss) and why is the flatness of ...
1
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1answer
328 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 ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Where's the missing helium in the Universe?

I'm confused: Big Bang nucleosynthesis is adamant about the 1 neutron to 7 proton ratio which yields 75% hydrogen to 25% helium (with a nominal amount of partially-reacted deuterium and heavier ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How far away must a galaxy be for its light never to reach us due to the expansion of the universe?

My understanding is that at the present rate of expansion of the universe some galaxies are growing more distant from us at such a rate that light from them will never reach us. My question is how far ...
9
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1answer
316 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
284 views

Why doesn't dark energy vary with time?

Trying to teach myself the basics of cosmology. I can see why, in an expanding universe, radiation and matter density, and radiation and matter pressure vary with time. But why is it assumed that dark ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Where does CMB come/emit from?

Where exactly does CMB come from. I've seen it in documentaries as a huge sphere with Earth in the middle. But if all this radiation was ejected from the start of the universe some time after the big ...
7
votes
2answers
283 views

If we could build a telescope to view the cosmic neutrino background, what would we see?

If we could build a neutrino telescope capable of viewing relic neutrinos that decoupled after the big bang, with a similar angular and spectral resolution that is possible now for the CMB (e.g. with ...
7
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4answers
684 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
382 views

Feedback on the paper, 'CCC-predicted low-variance circles in CMB sky and LCDM' by V. G. Gurzadyan and R. Penrose [closed]

Ref: CCC-predicted low-variance circles in CMB sky and LCDM To all cosmology / theoretical physics / related or similar researchers and academics, Are there some updates concerning the issue of ...
7
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4answers
609 views

de sitter cosmologic limit

It has been said that our universe is going to eventually become a de sitter universe. Expansion will accelerate until their relative speed become higher than the speed of light. So i want to ...
7
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3answers
417 views

What current alternatives are there to the standard concordance model of cosmology?

The current "standard model" or concordance model of cosmology is Lambda CDM which includes late time acceleration due to a cosmological constant, cold dark matter as the missing matter component and ...
6
votes
4answers
645 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
291 views

Questions about the Jeans length

I have a couple of questions about the Jeans length. Suppose the universe has a homogeneous energy density, except there's a spherical region that is overdense. I understand that if the region is ...
5
votes
3answers
352 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
341 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?
4
votes
1answer
113 views

How can contracting dimensions lead to cosmological inflation?

Using the Kasner metric, given by $$ ds^2 = -dt^2 + \sum_{j=1}^D t^{2p_j}(dx^j) $$ it is possible to not only describe the cosmological expansion of some space directions (the ones with positive ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Could Dust Equation of State have some negative pressure?

Traditionally the cosmological equation of state of cold matter (so-called dust) is simply: $$p = 0.$$ But, in Newtonian terms, each particle is gravitationally attracting every other particle. ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

What is the difference between matter & spacetime? [duplicate]

If the universe is expanding why doesn't the matter in it expand proportionally making it seem as if the universe is static? Alternatively, as spacetime expands why does it not just slide past matter ...
3
votes
1answer
341 views

How Does Cosmology Constrain the Number of Neutrino Species?

I know that based upon theories of structure formation cosmologists can constrain the sum of the masses of neutrinos - if neutrinos were too light or too heavy it would simply change the power ...
3
votes
0answers
92 views

Were fermions ever massless?

In a discussion of the Standard model and Higgs mechanism it was claimed that accordingly: "During an early phase of the cosmos all fermions were massless." I wonder whether this claim can be ...
3
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3answers
244 views

How much of the universes mass is bound up in photons traveling between stars?

I was watching a Scott Manley video on youtube and he mentioned that the Sun was loosing 4 million tons of mass a second as it converts to energy. With a few trillion trillion stars also converting ...
3
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0answers
144 views

Questions about classical and quantum scale invariance

This is kind of a continuation of this and this previous questions. Say one has a free "classical" field theory which is scale invariant and one develops a perturbative classical solution for an ...
3
votes
2answers
350 views

Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and its relation to Inertial Frames

We know that the CMB is isotropic when viewed outside of the spinning and revolving earth. Is it homogeneous? Can we relate the CMB to an inertial frame in the Newtonian sense (in which space and ...