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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squeezed radiation astronomy

Squeezed electromagnetic vacuum does have a renormalized energy density smaller than the vacuum. So it makes it in my opinion a inconspicuous candidate for a dark energy carrier. Are there ...
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2answers
422 views

Number density of CMB photons?

When we talk about the present-day number density of photons ($n_\gamma\approx 10^8 $ $m^{-3}$) in the universe do we mean the number density of CMB photons? I mean there are other sources of photons, ...
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136 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 ...
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2answers
85 views

Are orbits possible in de sitter space?

Since the de sitter space has constant positive curvature does that mean that objects can't orbit around other objects?
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124 views

At what expansion rate (H) would virtual particles be ripped apart into real particles, and what might be the density (temperature) of such an event?

Is it even possible for a virtual particle-antiparticle pair to be torn apart by cosmological expansion? Virtual particle-antiparticle pairs are ripped apart near black hole event horizons, creating ...
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3answers
352 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 ...
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1answer
340 views

Time slowing down vs. universe expanding

Einstein said that it is impossible to distinguish between the effect of gravity and acceleration (so if you stand in an accelerating elevator in space it would not feel any different than if you were ...
3
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1answer
241 views

If Fine Structure Constant in not uniform in space what would that imply for cosmic background?

Recently J.Webb submitted paper which has extraordinary claim - that Fine Structure Constant is different in different directions in space! He (with others) measured $\alpha$ using quasar spectrum ...
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111 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 ...
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1answer
181 views

The first $10^{-35}$ seconds [closed]

I am a rank amateur, so please forgive me if the answer to this is well-known. The following quote can in a weekly update for an EdX course I am following in astrophysics: "And what a week it's ...
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1answer
163 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 ...
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1answer
602 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 ...
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1answer
131 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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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
815 views

Photon on null geodesic

If given an FRW metric $ds^2 = -dt^2 + a^2(t)[dx^2+dy^2+dz^2]$ and for the trajectory followed by a photon (null geodesic; $ds^2=0$) with affine parameter $\lambda$, know that $g_{\mu\nu}\,\frac{...
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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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1answer
195 views

Can someone explain probability flux in the tunneling boundary condition of Vilenkin?

This is what's leading to the notion of a quantum universe tunneling from nothing into existence, right? The idea is that probability flux flows out of superspace (configuration space) at ...
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3answers
337 views

Is the accelerated expansion of the universe consistent with conservation of energy? [duplicate]

If energy can neither be created nor destroyed, how come the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate? Where does this energy come from?
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3answers
453 views

Have CMB photons “cooled” or been “stretched”?

Introductory texts and popular accounts of why we see the "once hot" CMB as microwaves nearly always say something about the photons "cooling" since the Big Bang. But isn't that misleading? Don't ...
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1answer
305 views

How come that an Infinite universe will collapse under gravity?

In this PSE post the issue is about the stability of an infinite universe under Newtonian gravity. Here I'will drop the Newtonian constraint because we know of the finite speed of interactions and I ...
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1answer
223 views

Varying an action (cosmological perturbation theory)

I am stuck varying an action, trying to get an equation of motion. (Going from eq. 91 to eq. 92 in the image.) This is the action $$S~=~\int d^{4}x \frac{a^{2}(t)}{2}(\dot{h}^{2}-(\nabla h)^2).$$ ...
2
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1answer
269 views

acceleration of the universe

Moments after the Big Bang, the universe was expanding at an incredible rate, (I've heard) faster than the speed of light. Due to dark energy, scientists predict the rate of expansion will pick up ...
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0answers
582 views

Is large-scale “time reversal” (Poincaré recurrence) possible given infinite time?

The following are some assumptions I'm basing my question on, from what (little) I understand of physics. I list them so an expert can (kindly) tell me where I'm going wrong. There is a probability ...
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1answer
370 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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1answer
337 views

How does inflation drive Ω close to 1?

I'll keep it simple. How does inflation drive Ω close to 1?
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2answers
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Is the expanding of the universe also a cause which can induce gravitational waves from mass? [duplicate]

Gravitational waves arises when mass is rotating in another mass'orbital, in explosions and of course in case of colliding black holes. But are they also created when mass is moving and speeding ...
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1answer
109 views

How fast am I moving? [duplicate]

Given the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second and that it is constant through out the universe, (i.e a person who measures the speed of light while standing still will get the same result ...
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1answer
85 views

Increasing matter density in the Friedman equations?

From what I understand, the Friedman equation is $H^2=\frac{8\pi G}{3} \rho$ and the $H$, the Hubble constant, is a measure of the rate of expansion of the universe. What I am confused about is that ...
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2answers
123 views

Could the missing antimatter lie outside the observable universe?

While I was reading a similar question asking if other galaxy could be made of antimatter, to which the answer was: if they were, we should detect the radiation from matter interacting with antimatter ...
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1answer
199 views

Infinite space or finite space?

I have been reading about the nature of space (Brian Greene's and Max Tegmark's recent books) and have a question on the size of space. Both references acknowledge that general relativity equations ...
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2answers
156 views

Could these hypothetical very long distance properties of light offer alternatives to an expanding universe or a finite number of galaxies?

Assume that there could be a property of light that it gets very gradually steadily red-shifted by traveling large astronomical distances, in exactly the same way that Doppler shift from receding ...
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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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1answer
86 views

Expansion of the universe in “everyday live” [duplicate]

According to space.com the universe is expanding with 75km/1Mpc/1s (megaparsec), which comes down to $\beta=2.43\times10^{-18}/s$, a relative rate per second. To put this in perspective: The average ...
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4answers
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Can we observe changes in the fine-structure constant?

The fine structure constant is a number of constants rolled into one equation. Brian Cox mentioned in the April edition of Focus magazine that it is possible that the speed of light was once faster, ...
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2answers
438 views

Will entropy continue to increase even if the universe begins to contract?

If the universe is heading for a big crunch, when the universe starts to collapse will entropy decrease and the arrow of time consequently reverse or not? I'm interested in the explanations, not just ...
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3answers
149 views

What's dark matter and who discovered it?

I have heard about dark matter that's called the Master Of The Universe. What's this and is the dark matter the reason galaxies exist?
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1answer
2k views

In what sense does the universe have an outer edge?

I'm having trouble understanding something about Suskind's Holographic principle. Suskind speaks about the surface of the universe? In what sense does the universe have an outer surface? I'm a bit ...
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1answer
296 views

Frequency of cosmic microwave background

Some people refer to cosmic microwave background's (CMB) frame of reference as an absolute one. If I understand correctly, we can measure 'absolute' velocity in this frame by using the Doppler effect. ...
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Implications of Unruh-inertia to theories of gravity

If it turns out to be true that the galaxy rotation curves can be explained away by Unruh modes that become greater than the Hubble scale at accelerations around $10^{-10} m/s^2$ as proposed in here, ...
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1answer
111 views

Was the matter-energy content of our universe always distributed in the same ratios?

Currently, Dark energy (68.3%) and Dark matter (26.8%) together constitute about 95.1% total matter-energy content of the universe while only 4.9% is ordinary baryonic matter. Was this always the case?...
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1answer
2k views

How the CMB anisotropy is linked to the existence of cold dark matter and dark energy?

After the data from the cosmic microwave background has been collected by WMAP or Planck, what types of analysis is needed to conduct in order to deduce the cold dark matter density and the ...
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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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1answer
211 views

Why don't orbits expand with the Universe?

Consider two bodies orbiting each other. As the Universe expands would the distance between them increase? Most people say that a gravitationally bound system will not expand with the Universe. They ...
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3answers
122 views

Two Robertson-Walker observers, at what time will a light signal be received?

Here is a question I have that is inspired by this question here. The spacetime metric of a radiation-filled, spatially flat ($k = 0$) Robertson-Walker universe is given by$$ds^2 = - dT^2 + T[dx^2 + ...
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2answers
484 views

Does the current acceleration of universe imply that our universe is open?

Does the current acceleration of universe imply that our universe is open? If the universe is closed, from the Friedmann's equation, the acceleration of universe wouldn't be possible, would it be? (Of ...
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2answers
11k views

What does a galaxy orbit?

Moons orbit planets, planets orbit stars, and stars orbit the center of a galaxy. So, my question is what does a galaxy orbit? The center of universe? (I know that the universe has no center)
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1answer
233 views

Do black holes play a role in quantum decoherence?

Sorry for such a vague question but I could have sworn I read somewhere that Hawking proposed the reason we might see a classically appearing universe is due to the possible role of black holes in ...
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2answers
71 views

On the expansion of space on small distances

After reading this post :Why does space expansion not expand matter? and after posting some comments to Peter Diehr, I was invited to make my argument to a question. The main things one needs from the ...
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199 views

Fine Tuned Universe

Is the fine tuning that cosmologists talk about (that our Universe is fine tuned for intelligent life) is the same as the fine tuning of the squared mass parameter of the Higgs in the Standard Model? ...
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1answer
91 views

In what manner does momentum of a particle with mass decrease due to spatial expansion?

I've read that the momentum of particles declines due to the universe's expansion. In particular, that $p \propto \frac{1}{a}$, where $a$ is the scale factor. For light, this momentum reduction ...