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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How can the universe be flat and have no center if universal mass-energy content is finite?

WMAP measurements confirm that the universe is flat within a 0.4% margin of error. If we assume the universe is flat and there is no 'center' then how could the mass energy content be finite since ...
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1answer
94 views

Why did the big bang explode if there is no oxygen in space? [duplicate]

If there is no oxygen in space, where the super dense singular object was suspended, then why did it explode because this reaction needs oxygen?
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1answer
47 views

Universe from nothing [duplicate]

Does this video make sense? The Simple Math for a Universe from Nothing I mean, can I really explain a "universe from nothing" is this simple manner?
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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 ...
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3answers
361 views

Entire Universe's Momentum

I was thinking about the definition of the conservation of momentum, which says that momentum is conserved unless outside forces are acting on the system, and I was wondering that if the system is the ...
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2answers
107 views

Infinite Universe and Big Bang

A common view now in the physics community is that the Universe is infinite in extent (which makes Hubble sphere an infinitely small part of the Universe). On the other hand, there is the Big Bang ...
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2answers
81 views

Can Einstein's constant explain expansion?

I read somewhere that Einstein or Newton believed that the universe was completely static, where it neither expanded nor contracted, but simply remained fixed. It was concluded that due to attraction ...
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1answer
130 views

What happens to black holes if/when the universe “ends”

I've heard several ideas about what happens to the universe when it dies, and they range from infinite expansion and heat death, to a "big crunch". In the event that something like a "big crunch" ...
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1answer
52 views

Does the CMB signal get weaker over time?

If the universe is infinite or flat, then this isn't true (I guess). But if the universe is finite, then as it expands wouldn't the CMB signal weaker at any given point over time?
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2answers
59 views

Do things in the universe get farther apart or bigger? (Amateur)

To start off I would like to say I am a complete amateur and have no experience in physics! I am just a sophomore in high school with some questions. Now that that is out of the way. There are many ...
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3answers
92 views

How do you define a “universe” (in the context of multiverse)?

How do you define a universe (in the context of multiverse)? The traditional definition of universe is something like "The Universe is all of spacetime and everything that exists therein". But in ...
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1answer
48 views

Light speed after the Big Bang

We know that immediately after the Big Bang space was opaque to light. As space expanded, light could travel. However I would think that as space expanded at some de sites the light would be much ...
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1answer
80 views

Quantum Wavefunctions Without Space

A handful of physicists have a rather peculiar definition of 'nothing' in terms of cosmology. Their claim is that the Universe, assuming it has 0 total energy, could have arisen from nothing but ...
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29 views

entropy-infomartion correlation at preliminary universe?

according to the theory of cosmic inflation after Alan Guth, the information should have travelled 100 times the speed of light at the very beginning after the big bang. -when we talk about ...
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57 views

How much real and how much relative is our universe?

Apologies in advance if my question appears more philosophical than practical. It is indeed philosophy, but a philosophy relating to our scientific understanding of the universe as a whole. Special ...
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2answers
152 views

How can a black hole zap a galaxy into existence?

I am referring to this picture published here. Apparently super massive black holes emit radiation and matter in astrophysical jets. And these jets can form galaxies. I have some questions: Isn't ...
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1answer
59 views

Can the vacuum energy be made finite with quantized space

From what I know the reason we have infinite vacuum energy is because according to Quantum Field Theory at every point in space we something analogous to a harmonic oscillator but since the Zero Point ...
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2answers
549 views

How would the universe be different if the electron mass was twice as large? [closed]

Would the universe even start? Would it collapse or act differently? What if, instead, the mass changed right now? Edit: Since this is too broad lets narrow it to two scenarios: What happens to ...
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2answers
129 views

Is the big bang a fact? [duplicate]

I have watched many physics debated and in everyone of them, physicists take big bang for granted. But, is the big bang actually proven, or there are many evidence that indicate that it did happen?
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1answer
101 views

Neutrino decoupling and units

I have a problem that states: In the early Universe, neutrinos can be created and destroyed by the process: \begin{equation} \nu \bar{\nu} \leftrightarrow e^{+}e^{-} \end{equation} The thermally ...
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0answers
35 views

What role did the Higgs boson play in the Big Bang?

Scientists say that inflation stopped when a very peculiar energy was mobilized, did Higgs boson play any role in this? What is it's relation to the Big Bang? Some physicists, such as Michio Kaku, ...
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1answer
75 views

Can the energy of the universe ever be infinite in qunatum physics? [closed]

Suppose that the universe runs under some variants of QFT, with universal wavefunction and Hamiltonian. Then would infinite energy of the universe ever be possible? According to what I am thinking, ...
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0answers
32 views

Calculating the age of the Universe at temperature 1 MeV [duplicate]

I've been told to calculate the age of the Universe at $T = 1 \, \text{MeV}$, assuming that $a(t=0)=0$. Now, I've already calculated the value of $H$ at that temperature, which was around ...
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0answers
21 views

Space Between Current universe and point of origin [duplicate]

If universe is expanding like a balloon from point zero to current space time. what is there in between the point of origin and current universe. Is there still hot energy in between the current ...
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1answer
46 views

Calculating the angular power spectrum of a section of sky

To calculate the angular power spectrum $C_l$ of the whole sky, one uses the variance of the coefficients of the spherical harmonics in the temperature fluctuation field. I.e. $$C_l = ...
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19 views

frequency shift in background radiation, where is the missing energy? [duplicate]

It is known that the dilatation of the universe cause a shift in frequency in the background radiation toward lower frequencies. It is also known that photons with lower frequency have lower energy ...
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1answer
42 views

Scale factor and energy density

I'm looking at some solutions of the Friedmann equation at this website: Solutions to Friedmann equation If I look at the first problem (Problem 1: matter or radiation in a flat Universe) and click ...
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1answer
79 views

A true singularity at $t=0$, coordinate independent Big Bang

Consider a flat Robertson-Walker metric. When we say that there is a singularity at $t=0$, clearly it is a coordinate dependent statement. So it is a "candidate" singularity. In principle there is ...
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25 views

Variable parameters in cosmology

Mainstream theories in cosmology assume that parameters like the speed of light $c$, and the gravitational constant $G$ are time-independent. Is there any evidence suggesting that this assumption is ...
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0answers
26 views

With what fraction photon quanta emission rate is decreased in the expanding universe? [closed]

Light from edge of the observable universe has travelled 13.8 billion light years so far. And, that edge itself has travelled 32.2-33.2 billion light years (that's why actual radius of observable ...
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1answer
83 views

Calculating energy density in the early Universe

I've been told to calculate the energy density in the early Universe. It states that it is completely dominated by neutrinos (3 species), photons, electrons, and positrons. Now, I've found an ...
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2answers
832 views

Differences between astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology? [closed]

What is the main difference between Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Cosmology? I have the impression that astronomy is a subject that runs parallel to physics but it is outside the physics field. This ...
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0answers
24 views

How is expansion of the Universe consistent with the speed of light? [duplicate]

I have a question that I believe is related to @PetTaxi's question here: How far has a 13.7 billion year old photon travelled, but I didn't want to hi-jack it. My issue is this. I'm assuming the ...
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3answers
203 views

How far has a 13.7 billion year old photon travelled

I've read that the size of the observable Universe is thought to be around ~46 billion light years, and that the light we see from the most distant galaxies were emitted ~13.7 billion years ago as a ...
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21 views

Expansion rate in matter dominated era [duplicate]

Do physicists know what the expansion rate of the Universe was at the beginning of the matter dominated era?
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1answer
88 views

Is there any limit on movement of space itself?

According to special relativity, c is the maximum speed at which all matter and information in the universe can travel. [IN SPACE] But the inflationary hypothesis says the space itself expanded ...
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1answer
104 views

What is the identity of Dark Matter?

What is the identity of dark matter? Is it a particle? Is it the lightest superpartner (LSP)? Do the phenomena attributed to dark matter point not to some form of matter but actually to an ...
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2answers
40 views

Energy Continuity Equation [closed]

I have the following equation (Energy Continuity Equation) derived from Einstein/Friedmann equations: $$ \dot \rho + 3\left(\rho + P\right)\frac{\dot a}{a} = 0 $$ Now, I then have to show that $\rho ...
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2answers
165 views

Was the Big Bang actually cold?

As I understand, from watching the Discovery Channel, the total amount of energy in the universe is zero. As such, people like Hawking explain that the universe can be created out of nothing ...
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122 views

Is quantum uncertainty a function of how matter is distributed in the universe?

As an outcome of his PhD thesis work, Richard Feynman and John Wheeler wrote a series of papers on how the kickback on an electron as it emits a photon can be modeled accurately as the result of an ...
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2answers
196 views

Why isn't our universe symmetric?

Why were random variations introduced in the spherically symmetric universe after Big Bang which made it non-symmetrical. Since the outcome of a coin toss depend on factors such as torque applied, air ...
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2answers
157 views

What's the escape velocity of Naked Singularities?

Penrose's Cosmic Censorship Hypothesis doesn't hold for naked singularities which means that at least light can escape the singularity. But, if we calculate escape velocity with the given mass only, ...
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33 views

Graviational Lensing Data

Can anyone provide me with (or point me to) real life gravitational lensing data that I can plug in to the first equation on this page (the standard lensing equation): ...
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2answers
189 views

How can we differentiate between matter and antimatter? [duplicate]

For instance if there was a galaxy, assume it to be made up of antimatter (isolated from other "normal" galaxies), how would we, or rather, would we be able to distinguish if it was made up of matter ...
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1answer
423 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 ...
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0answers
55 views

Statistics of Black Holes

I am hoping to collect information about the sampling distribution of black hole sizes, densities, and their relative spatial distribution within galaxies and other formations. By sampling ...
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1answer
191 views

What caused the expansion of the universe to slow down after the inflationary epoch?

As everyone knows, when the big bang happened, the universe expanded at an unbelievable rate and this was called the inflationary epoch (or more popularly cosmological inflation) which lasted for ...
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1answer
44 views

how is cosmological constant used in equations? [closed]

People say that they use cosmological constant in an equation to remove a non required value. For example, the cosmological constant $\Lambda$ appears in Einstein's field equation in the form of: $$ ...
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0answers
26 views

Converting between cosmological times

David Hogg's 'Distance Measures in Cosmology' is my go-to reference for all things cosmological. It's missing a discussion of time measurements however. How does one convert between different ...
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What will happen to a naked singularity during the Big Rip? [duplicate]

I apologize in advance if some concepts I use are vague, but I am just an enthusiast. I have read that the Big Rip will not rip off black holes because the event horizon will become equal to something ...