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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Thomson scattering on the elections does not produce any circular polarization?

All references on CMB polarization has this statement as if it is a trivial fact. But I have to admit that I completely don't understand what this sentence is telling us.
6
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2answers
132 views

In a random direction, am I more likely to find a dwarf or giant galaxy?

First a couple of disclaimers: My title explains the idea of my question, but I will pose it slightly differently to make it less subjective. This ends up being in the style of a homework exercise ...
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0answers
169 views

Upper limit on the size of the “unobservable” universe based on surface area divided by Planck constant?

There are many kinds of size scale to the universe one can talk of. Much has been discussed with the concept of the upper limit of "bits" contained in the observable universe and therefore the total ...
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3answers
130 views

Expanding universe as predicted by the Einstein Field Equation

Without the cosmological constant, the Einstein field equation predicts the universe is expanding. Why is that? It is counter-intuitive because generally gravity should pull things closer and shrink ...
3
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3answers
433 views

Books on cosmology

I am a 14 year old who is independently studying physics. I finished the book: Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity by Sean Carroll. I am specifically interested in cosmology, ...
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2answers
98 views

Why has the amount of star formation in the Universe decreased over time?

If you like, refer to my old question from the last year, about star formation rates and their declining, answered by Rob Jeffries. I'm now examining why this process happens. It appears that in ...
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2answers
111 views

Why is the cosmological constant a scalar?

Maybe my understanding is just off, but the cosmological constant is just a scalar, right? What are it's units? Why a scalar? - was a tensor 'cosmological constant' ever considered or is it just not ...
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1answer
68 views

Baryogenesis via Leptogenesis

Baryon number is directly violated through electroweak anomaly and so does the Lepton number, for each transition from one vacuum to another. The two violations are of equal amount $\Delta B=\Delta ...
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1answer
53 views

Supermassive Black holes at centers of galaxies [duplicate]

Why there is super-massive black holes at the center of our galaxy and other galaxies ?
9
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1answer
769 views

How do scientists calculate the percentage of dark energy in the universe?

I can understand how the percentage of dark matter compared to ordinary matter is calculated, because the amount of dark matter has a clear gravitational effect on the ordinary matter in a Galaxy. ...
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1answer
35 views

Would the universe look any different today if energy/matter had not appeared until some time after spacetime had begun expanding?

Why is it necessary for spacetime and energy/matter to begin together at spacetime = 0? Would the universe look any different today if energy/matter had appeared some time after spacetime had begun ...
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1answer
53 views

Flatness and Kinetic Energy

Why the curvature parameter can be interpreted as the difference between the average potential energy and the average kinetic energy of a region of space? Curvature ...
19
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2answers
1k views

Why are neutrinos ruled out as a major (or even sole) component of dark matter?

A number of times I have encountered in text-books and articles that neutrinos might contribute only a small fraction to dark matter. The reason has to do with the fact that if all of the dark matter ...
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4answers
88 views

Effect of expansion on time?

We know that for moving body times moves at a slower rate, but can this happen for Universe itself whose rate of expansion is accelerating?
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2answers
1k views

Was everything in the Universe “created” from light?

Is the following true? The only matter existing directly after the big bang was electromagnetic radiation.
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1answer
85 views

Can Parallel Universes exist? [closed]

I saw Stephen Hawking say that there are an infinity of parallel universes. How did he get to that theory, and is it possible?
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2answers
142 views

Expanding universe - Creation of Space [duplicate]

Is the expansion of the space between the galaxies caused by stretching of existing space or the creation of new space? The fact that the energy content remains constant, and is therefore not being ...
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1answer
119 views

Are we comoving observers of space expansion?

In cosmology: A comoving observer is the only observer that will perceive the universe, including the cosmic microwave background radiation, to be isotropic. (Wikipedia) According to this ...
5
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1answer
88 views

How is $\Omega_0 = 1$ when the characteristic “teardrop” past light cone seems to admit curvature?

Introduction: The top graphic is just one I pulled from a page describing the process of detecting cosmic curvature. The second graphic is one I drew up to illustrate my misunderstanding. My ...
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2answers
229 views

Tired light red shift hypothesis

Have there been any recent attempts to falsify the tired light hypothesis alternative to the Doppler shift explanation for the red shift, or is it simply ignored like the pilot wave quantum mechanical ...
0
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2answers
73 views

If space is expanding, how can I see a galaxy 12 billion light years away where it is today?

Assuming space is expanding (and that seems plausible), photons from a galaxy that have been traveling for 12 billion years must have been traveling on a curve to get to us due to the fact that where ...
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0answers
42 views

Information loss from entanglement and cosmological horizons?

Suppose we have a qubit P in an unknown quantum state. Unknown as in we didn't prepare it, and don't know how it was prepared either. Without measuring the qubit in any way, we encode it into two ...
3
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1answer
70 views

What are the latest findings on the topology and size of the universe?

The paper G. Aslanyan & A.V. Manohar, The Topology and Size of the Universe from the Cosmic Microwave Background, JCAP 06 (2012) 003, arXiv:1104.0015, uses the 7-year WMAP data. Has any ...
0
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1answer
56 views

Proof of expression to combine different redshifts

I am trying to arrive to the following expression: $1+z = (1+z_C)(1+z_G)(1+z_D)$ so the total redshift is the product of the cosmological redshift, the gravitational redshift and the Doppler ...
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0answers
49 views

What does the temperature of the early universe tell me?

I am re-reading Weinberg's book "The First Three Minutes". In the Introduction he makes this statement: "At about one-hundreth of a second, the earliest time about which we can speak with any ...
2
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1answer
118 views

What physical processes can convert dark matter into dark energy?

In this news article, it is mentioned that it could be the case that some physical processes convert dark matter into dark energy ...
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2answers
449 views

Could I see the cosmic microwave background if it were Doppler shifted enough?

If I traveled fast enough, my current understanding is that visible light would be blueshifted to the blue/UV range, but also that microwaves and longer wavelength waves would be blueshifted into the ...
3
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2answers
346 views

Expansion of the Universe: is new space(time?) being created or does it just get stretched?

Is new space(time?) being created as the Universe expands, or does the existing spacetime just get stretched? If it just gets stretched, why do galaxies move along with the expansion instead of just ...
3
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2answers
137 views

Is entropy absolute (as in absolute temperature)?

Following this question on the Entropy at the Big Bang where I asked: Since Entropy always increases (in general); its expected that the entropy at the beginning of the universe should be the ...
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2answers
92 views

How could gravity affect the expansion of the universe?

I've read several books which talk about gravity slowing down, halting, or reversing the expansion of the universe. The expansion is often compared to a stretching of space at every point, so that the ...
6
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1answer
160 views

Angular Power Spectrum of CMB

I was wondering, if anyone could guide me through the different peaks of this spectrum (See below)? I've been reading and reading numerous pages about this, but I can't seem to get my head around ...
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3answers
259 views

Cosmic Background Radiation and redshift vs. temperature

I get that the CMB has gone from high energy photons, to low microwave photons today. And that is probably due to the redshift from the expanding Universe. But, since CMB is a black body it is ...
3
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4answers
325 views

Entropy of the whole universe

In "Thermal Physics", Charles Kittel proves that entropy always increases in systems when the degree of freedom are increased (adding particles, adding energy, expanding volume, etc ). I started to ...
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0answers
42 views

Does the holographic principle imply that objects exist twice?

The surface area that surrounds a volume of space contains the same information that the volume has. My question is if we have Alice in a 3D space the 2D boundary should have all of her information. ...
2
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1answer
178 views

The arrow of time and the cosmology of a black hole interior

When solving the Einstein field equations in Schwarzschild metric for an observer falling into a black hole the radial coordinate r of the black hole and time t switch roles in the equations when ...
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1answer
40 views

Is this dark energy/matter?

Regarding dark energy and dark matter. It’s been a while but in my high school physics class I was taught that light energy was massless. However Einstein predicted and it has been proven that light ...
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1answer
168 views

Numerical solution for Friedmann equations

My problem today is to solve the Friedmann equations, for those who aren't familiar with them, here they are (in my specific case): $$ \left ( \frac{\dot{a}}{a^2} \right )^2 = \frac{\rho_1}{a^4} - ...
4
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2answers
292 views

Estimating the expansion of the universe using light from supernova

I understand that you can tell how far light has traveled by the measuring redshift but how accurate is this and could it be effected by anything like radiation from the sun it must be fairly accurate ...
-1
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1answer
119 views

How can we detect cosmic background microwave radiation? [closed]

From my understanding this stuff expands at or near the speed of light -- and it's origins are that of the creation of this universe (via big bang). Obviously, our planet does not expand from origin ...
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2answers
90 views

Can we solve most of the cosmological questions using the Illustris universe simulation?

The Illustris project (http://illustris-project.org) attempts to simulate the universe in its most accurate form according to their website. With the simulation, they were able to predict the neutral ...
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1answer
90 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 ...
2
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4answers
618 views

Exploring beyond event horizons

In the expanding universe the velocity of separation between galaxies depends upon how far they are. If they are much far away will they have relative velocity of separation greater than speed of ...
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5answers
1k views

What was the entropy of the universe at the time of the Big Bang?

(I asked this question in Philosophy.SE; but I was advised to direct it here, despite it is, in my opinion, somewhat too speculative for physics.SE). High entropy generally means high disorder; and ...
11
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1answer
578 views

The status of the BICEP2 'discovery' after Planck 2014

The tumultous period after the original announcement that the BICEP2 experiment had supposedly detected strong evidence of cosmological inflation in the form of B-mode polarization in the cosmic ...
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1answer
137 views

Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist [closed]

Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist? That nothing exists, not even you or me? And by not existing, I mean totally not existing, as in not even existing as a computer simulation, or a ...
33
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3answers
2k views

What are galactic speeds measured against?

The Earth moves through space at 67,000 MPH. The Milky Way travels through a local group at 2,237,000 MPH. Wouldn't you need a fixed point to be able to measure velocity against? After all, compared ...
14
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3answers
960 views

What is the most compelling evidence of General Relativity in the presence of matter and energy?

The most oft-cited triumphs of GR are things such as the shifting perihelion of Mercury, gravitational redshift experiments, and gravitational lensing. But, as far as I know, these are only ...
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0answers
41 views

How Do we Know How Old the Universe Is? [duplicate]

It is common knowledge that the universe is 13.8 ± 0.037 billion years - but how was this calculated?
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4answers
295 views

temperature of electroweak phase transition

How does one estimate the temperature at which electroweak phase transition (EWPT) occurred? Somewhere I have read it is around 100GeV but the reason was not explained.
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2answers
84 views

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 ...