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 has the age of the Universe been derived from the observations made by the Planck mission?

The parameters of $\rm\Lambda CDM$ model have been determined to an amazing high precision from the measurements made by the Planck mission. In particular, the Hubble "constant" (the value of Hubble ...
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3answers
238 views

Could Dark Matter particles that don't couple to quarks or leptons have been produced?

With what we know about physics, is it possible that when the universe 'began', around when quarks and leptons were produced, another particle, which doesn't couple to either quarks, leptons or ...
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1answer
105 views

If dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the universe, why can't I feel it?

Based on the Lambda-CDM cosmological model, our universe is not only expanding, but is accelerating in its expansion. However, the Equivalence Principle would suggest that inertia manifests itself in ...
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0answers
40 views

Future of a universe with scalar field

Assume that $\phi=\phi_0\gg M_{Pl}$, what can you say about the future of a universe in a model with $V(\phi)=\frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^2+\epsilon \phi$, where $|\epsilon|\ll m^2M_{Pl}^2$, is a small ...
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2answers
176 views

What was the density of the universe when it was only the size of our solar system?

What was the density of the universe when it was only the size of our solar system? Did it approach neutron star density? Is it physically correct to even ask such a question?
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32 views

Is the expansion accelerating or decelerating? [duplicate]

I have already asked this on Astronomy.SE but I couldn't understand the answer there. According to Hubble's Law, the farther a galaxy is, the farther it is moving away. But do we take into account ...
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78 views

Maybe photon energy is constant as the Universe expands?

This is a question following on from my previous post Time-like Killing vector in FRW metric? For simplicity I take the spatially flat FRW metric in cartesian co-ordinates given by: $$ds^2 = -dt^2 + ...
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1answer
93 views

Why is an electric and magnetic field present in all universe?

the Earth has its fields due to the motion of molten metals in the core but how does this whole universe has its fields without any discontinuity? And we can say for sure that fields are present in ...
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0answers
20 views

Lee Yang force and cosmology

The text I am reading (Stars and Relativity by Ya. B. Zel'dovich) discusses the possible existence of a repulsive force proportional to total baryon number. At the time of the book's publication it ...
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3answers
76 views

If empty space has energy, and space is expanding, is this energy equally distributed as space expands?

The cosmological constant (dark energy) is often described in terms of empty space having a non 0 energy value and this energy being the source of the accelerated expansion of the universe. If space ...
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2answers
136 views

When was the cosmic background radiation in the visible spectrum?

From what I understand about the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is that it was from the big bang, and since space has streched and become bigger since then the wavelength of the CMBR has ...
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49 views

Should a radiation-filled Universe be scale invariant?

Imagine a spatially flat Universe, without cosmological constant, filled only with EM radiation. As Maxwell's equations without charges or currents are scale invariant then should this Universe be ...
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47 views

Sign of Hubble slow-roll parameters

Given the Hubble slow-roll parameters $\epsilon=-\frac{\dot{H}}{H^{2}}$ and $\eta=\frac{\dot{\epsilon}}{H\epsilon}$, can they assume negative values? For inflation to occurr they are required to be ...
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1answer
96 views

Estimating age of the universe by Hubble's law?

Hubble's law states that $v=Hx$ Age of the universe is calculated by $T= \frac{x}{v} = \frac{1}{H}$ but the velocity is not constant; it changes with distance, so I think that this equation cannot ...
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0answers
36 views

Units and missing constants in quintessence expressions?

In cosmology, quintessence is an alternative to the cosmological constant. In this approach (described here), we consider a scalar field $\phi$ and its self-interacting potential $V\left(\phi\right)$ ...
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2answers
333 views

Does everything orbit around some universal “center of mass”?

I have read many questions about the center of the Universe. I even have some favorite ones. I understand the fact that every point in the universe experiences inflation the same way. Also that it ...
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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.
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1answer
334 views

What are the alternative theories of dark energy? ($w \neq -1$)

There has been a lot of related questions about dark energy around here but these are usually 2-4 years old and the closest question to mine hasn't really been answered, so I am going to proceed. ...
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1answer
62 views

Measuring proper distance using a light beam

I wonder if someone can help me with the following problem. I send a light beam to a distant galaxy which then bounces back to me. I measure the travel time of the lightbeam using say a light clock ...
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0answers
48 views

If the universe is expanding then why does the distance between Sun and the Earth is not expanding? [duplicate]

It has been proved that universe is expanding in the accelerating way. If that is true than the space between the Sun and the Earth must also be expanding. But it is not so, why?
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1answer
140 views

Pressure and Density Using a General Lagrangian

Given a lagrangian of a form: \begin{equation}\mathcal{L}=f(\phi,\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial^{\mu}\phi)\end{equation} where $f$ is a function, I need to derive pressure and density in a FLRW universe ...
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744 views

Does dark energy have gravity?

So I keep running into this idea on the Internet that only mass has gravity, but isn't mass simply contained energy? Energy bounces around, or travels at the speed of light, because it is not in the ...
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23 views

Angular diameter distance in an inhomogeneous universe?

Computing the angular diameter distance $D_{A}$ is a well known academic exercise in an homogeneous Universe. But now suppose that we are in an inhomogeneous Universe and that I am interested in ...
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30 views

Universe in the magnetic spectrum

Can we scan the universe in magnetic spectrum and then separate the paramagnetic , diamagnetic and ferromagnetic objects and get a new picture of the cosmos.
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1answer
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Does a hydrogen atom today have same mass as a hydrogen atom in the future?

Does an atom of hydrogen today have the same rest mass energy as an atom of hydrogen a billion years in the future? Standard cosmology seems to tacitly make this assumption. But surely one can only ...
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4answers
128 views

Accelerating expansion of the universe: so?

Please help me out, I’m missing something. We know that, right now, space is expanding at roughly 73km/s/Mpc. This means: two points in space 1Mpc away from each other “move” 73 km farther away ...
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1answer
126 views

Why did everything in space cool out?

Through my research, I learned that; According to thermophysics, heat always moves from an area of high heat to an area of low heat. Space has no heat at all. It is extremely cold However, ...
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88 views

Metric expansion of space and Newton's second law

I wanted to ask the following question: If the expansion of the universe is really accelerating, does that mean a certain force applied on the universe? (According to Newton's second law) What kind ...
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1answer
63 views

If non-zero cosmological constant interpreted as a repulsive field, what would be the properties of this field's quanta?

If non-zero cosmological constant interpreted as a repulsive field, what would be the properties of the excitation of such field, i.e. the particle which serves as the field's quantum? What would be ...
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2answers
275 views

gravitational waves and inflation theory

I am not a technical guy and I have no scientific knowloedge in physics but I have been reading books, watching videos in order to understand our cosmology and ...
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2answers
164 views

Killing vectors in flat FLRW metric

I have the flat FLRW metric, $$ ds^2=-dt^2+a(t)^2(dx^2+dy^2+dz^2) $$ and a geodesic $\gamma(s)=(t(s),x(s),y(s),z(s))$ with parameter $s$. Two of the Killing vectors of the metric are $ \partial_x$ ...
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2answers
54 views

Binding energy and invisible mass

The gravitational binding energy of a sphere is: $U=\frac{3GM^2}{5r}$, the mass defect is $\Delta E=\Delta m c^2$. Putting: $M=\frac{4}{3}\rho\pi r^3$, we get: $$U=\frac{16}{15}G\rho^2\pi^2 r^5$$. Now ...
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2answers
87 views

Where did the universe get its initial momentum?

If, according to Newton's third law, forces come in pairs then what about the big bang? where did the universe get that initial push/momentum?
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83 views

Is it reasonable to visualise an additional dimension of time as a part of 4th dimensional spacetime

[EDIT] In the spirit of asking a "good question", this question is considerably more refined that the one I decided to blurt out earlier thanks to a little additional research and nudges from ...
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2answers
257 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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0answers
36 views

Infinite Redshift [closed]

My text says that the signals emitted at a physical size of horizon $l_{H}(t)$ come to an observer at time $t$ with an infinite redshift. How do I show this mathematically? My approach is as follows: ...
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192 views

Proving one field equation leads to the other [closed]

Assume that the universe is homogenous and isotropic, and the following equation holds: \begin{equation}R_{00}-\frac{1}{2}g_{00}R=8\pi GT_{00}; \space \space \nabla_{\mu}T^{\mu 0}=0.\end{equation} ...
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1answer
34 views

What is the current rate of change of the volume of the Universe?

Is it possible to know the current rate of change of the volume of the Universe? If we can't see past the cosmic horizon, can we still get a value for this rate of change, and if so, how would it be ...
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3answers
374 views

Is the edge of our Hubble Sphere within our Cosmic Event Horizon and why?

I was recently shown a pretty cool video about common cosmological misconceptions. It got me reviewing the different between event horizon (current distance within which we will see/interact), ...
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2answers
116 views

Can the cosmological constant change with time?

This post is a specialization of the post: Can the proportion of dark energy change? Can the cosmological constant change with time? If so, is there a measurement of this evolution up to now, ...
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1answer
58 views

Can the proportion of dark energy change?

This post generalizes the posts: - Proportion of dark matter/energy to other matters/energy at the beginning of the universe? - How do people calculate proportions of dark matter, dark energy ...
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1answer
131 views

What is the concept of cosmic strings?

What is the concept of cosmic strings? Is it related to the strings in the string theory, and if it is, then how?
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1answer
81 views

What is the cosmological footprint of humanity?

What is the the cosmological footprint of humanity? By this I mean, how might a cosmological observer detect humanity or its products on earth? How far away can humanity or it's products (not mere ...
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1answer
19 views

Non-zero net charge on cosmological scale

It seems very clear, that because atoms and ion compounds are electrically neutral, our world seems to consist of an equal amount of positive and negative charge resulting in a zero net charge. What ...
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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 ...
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7answers
1k views

Mathematically possible vs physically probable outcomes

A good buddy of mine and I have had a friendly debate about the origins of the current state of our universe (namely; Earth and life on Earth) and have fundamentally disagreed in our stances with ...
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2answers
70 views

Redshift 1+z - CMB Temperature lower?

I know that $\frac{\lambda_2}{\lambda_1} = 1 + z$ Suppose a galaxy had redshfit $z=3$. Does this mean that the wavelength becomes $4\lambda$? Then by wien's law where $\lambda \propto \frac{1}{T}$, ...
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108 views

Reconciling “The Big Crunch” with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Assume "The Big Crunch" scenario (the universe will collapse to a singularity). In this case, I think of the entire universe as an isolated system; in the "Big Crunch" scenario, it seems to me gravity ...
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3answers
128 views

If we say the universe is expanding, shouldn't it be expanding relative to something?

I don't understand, if everything in this world is relative to something else, then cannot we essentially say that nothing exists independently? We say that the universe is considered to be the ...
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1answer
146 views

Non-stationary spacetime

What is an example for a spacetime that is non-stationary that is considered as a description of something in nature? So far all the spacetimes I encounted have always been stationary ...