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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Are there any stable (not metastable) string theory compactifications with a positive cosmological constant?

Previously, on Save us from swallowing baby universes, please!, I asked how we can be saved from false vacuum decay assuming we are living in a false vacuum. What if we are living in a stable vacuum ...
2
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1answer
103 views

The universe being finite

I always thought we didn't know if the universe is finite or infinite. However is it true that the universe (not just the observable one) is finite with no boundaries? The articles arXiv:0901.3354 ...
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2answers
121 views

Could there have been two “Big Bangs”?

A couple of years ago, I remember seeing a documentary on the big bang theory. The theory presented was that to explain the cosmic microwave background radiation, there needed to have been two big ...
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0answers
154 views

Reference request: Hollow concave Earth hypothesis

Reference request concerning the Hollow concave Earth hypothesis. I am searching for this paper: A Geocosmos: Mapping Outer Space Into a Hollow Earth authored by M. Abdelkader and published in ...
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3answers
186 views

Is isotropy a fundamental/invariant feature of our universe, or is it merely a convenient, albeit arbitrary, feature of some reference frames?

This is related to a previous post. Assuming that the Cosmological Principle is correct, does this imply that the universe possess an empircially privileged reference frame? What I am trying to ...
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2answers
269 views

Assuming that the Cosmological Principle is correct, does this imply that the universe possess an empirically privileged reference frame?

OK...before everyone blasts this with references to the relativistic invariance of the physical laws, time dilation, etc let me add some context. Also, I am an amateur with an interest in physics, so ...
8
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1answer
220 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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1answer
151 views

Cosmological metric with off-diagonal terms?

In the context of Cosmology models, What are examples of metrics with off-diagonal terms?
7
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1answer
146 views

What are the different ways to measure the spatial curvature of the universe?

Just what the question asks. Assuming the Friedmann-Rovertson-Walker (FRW) metric, what measurements can be performed to determine the spatial curvature of the universe.
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1answer
175 views

How would one expect a massive graviton to behave?

Typically, adding a mass $m$ to a gauge boson causes the boson to only be able to travel over a finite distance, $L\sim m^{-1}$, limiting the range of the associated force. For example, photons ...
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2answers
223 views

Bathroom photons from the edge at the universe [duplicate]

I was looking through my bathroom window this night and I was wondering if any of the photons my retina is hit with are from 13 (40) billion light years away ?! I was looking through it a few ...
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0answers
67 views

What's the difference between eternal inflation and chaotic inflation?

Is there a real difference between eternal inflation and "chaotic inflation" theories?
4
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1answer
158 views

Can the total amount of energy in the entire universe be quantified?

Classical thermodynamics leads one to believe that if energy is transferred, and the universe is heading for maximum entropy, then back extrapolating to moments before the big bang, one could find a ...
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1answer
177 views

Charge neutrality of the Universe: evidences and theories

I've always wondered why the number of protons in the Universe exactly matches the number of electrons. They are such different particles with totally different cross sections. So, first of all, is ...
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1answer
58 views

Will the Hubble constant reach zero asymptotically in the far future?

In the current accelerated expansion universe model will the Hubble constant reach zero asymptotically in the far future?
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0answers
64 views

What's the timescale until the Medium Crunch?

The future of the universe seems to be: clusters of galaxies drift apart due to space expansion until they all pass out of each other's cosmic event horizon. Gravitationally bound clusters overcome ...
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0answers
618 views

Is the “Doctor Who” spacetime affected by Hawking's chronology protection mechanism?

Recently, there has been a paper1 (and an accompanying layman-ized white paper2) on "Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime", TARDIS for short. It proposes a spacetime geometry that ...
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0answers
64 views

In bubble-multiverse theories, are the parameters values describing a given universe members of a countably infinite set?

I recently had the chance to read Brian Greene's "Hidden Reality" with all its talk of multiverses. He makes a case that there may be an infinite number of identical copies of our world "out there". ...
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1answer
96 views

Do primordial background neutrinos orbit in dark matter halos?

According to Wikipedia, neutrinos separated from other matter seconds after the Big Bang and formed a separate background radiation field which now fills space at a temperature ~2 K. Supposing ...
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1answer
135 views

Does space expansion imply light will *never* reach objects currently distant enough?

Let's say two objects are at about twice the Hubble Distance from each other. One of them emits light towards the other. When light emitted from one reaches the Hubble Distance from its origin ...
8
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1answer
133 views

Different age of universe

According to general relativity time runs slowly near a massive body. So, I have a question bothering me from some time, that if time for every body/object in universe runs at a different rate, then ...
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0answers
41 views

Calculate age of the Universe at 7 billion and 28 billion years old [duplicate]

If $1 / H_0 $ is about 14 billion years, then what happened when the universe was half its current age? Is the empirically determined $H_0$ supposed to have been twice its current value? And when ...
3
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1answer
300 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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2answers
283 views

Expansion of the Universe: Conversion of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy?

Suppose there is an object floating in space which over time begins to fall toward the source of a gravitational field. As it falls, its motion happens to be such that it gets locked in orbit around ...
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1answer
147 views

Does the Casimir effect give the correct value for Dark Energy?

My understanding is that the Casimir Effect is caused by vacuum energy. Quantum mechanics (QED) predicts vacuum energy, but gets the value grossly wrong, by a factor of $10^{120}$. On the other hand, ...
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0answers
92 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. ...
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2answers
150 views

Big Bang, What is wrong with such thinking? [closed]

Also if I think the Expanding of Universe like this: At the Start : The Amount of Matter and Anti-Matter is equal and they annihilate and all we had is Large Amount of energy. But some 'X' Thing, ...
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3answers
231 views

What is the opposite of the Planck length?

What "large size" unit of length could be considered at the opposite end of spectrum from Planck's length? Is there a table of smallest and largest value for various physical quantities that can be ...
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0answers
89 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
77 views

Trying to understand infinite gravitational energy

Google has not been helpful because so many derivations of gravitational potential energy discuss $r$ at infinity. My understanding of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcxptIJS7kQ is: Dark ...
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1answer
118 views

The Emperor's New Mind or Shadows of the mind? [closed]

OK - I have never posted on this site before, and I hope this question isn't closed as "request for reference" but here goes: I'm a software guy who likes to dabble in math, physics and cosmology. ...
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4answers
394 views

The inner workings of the Olbers paradox

A long time ago I was told that the universe is finite. The provided "proof" (or reasoning), known as Olbers' paradox, was that on infinite universe there would be an infinite number of stars, and ...
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1answer
241 views

How deep is the region near an event horizon where Hawking radiation is generated?

In other words, how strong does gravity have to be to cause Hawking radiation to occur?
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0answers
178 views

Dimensional analysis to estimate order of magnitude of quantities

In the Coursera course From the Big Bang to Dark Energy on several occasions dimensional analysis was used to estimate the scale of quantities. This almost seems like a contradiction in terms to me, ...
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1answer
349 views

Is “A Brief History of Time” still up to date?

I have recently found my copy of Hawkings' A Brief History of Time which I have never finished. This time I'm determined to read it all the way through. However, the book is now almost 25 years old. ...
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2answers
69 views

Red Shift and Light Speed

I read several questions/answers about red shift on this web site, but there is something I still don't understand. Why is red-shift considered to be the effect of expanding space-time, why it could ...
2
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2answers
196 views

Is inflation deterministic?

In some theories inflation is supposed to be able to turn quantum fluctuations into macroscopic inhomogeneities. I don't understand how an isolated system such as the universe can undergo such a ...
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1answer
82 views

How does pressure relate to cosmological expansion?

In my cosmology class, we've been talking about pressure in the Friedmann Equation for acceleration: $$ \frac{\ddot{a}}{a}=-\frac{4 \pi G}{3} \left(\rho+\frac{3p}{c^2} \right) $$ In particular, I've ...
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0answers
88 views

Calculating the age of the Universe now and 30 billion years from now [duplicate]

I am confused about the age of the Universe. If you calculate it by $1 / H_0$, won't the answer be roughly the same today as it will be 30 billion years from now? I know $H_0$ is a parameter, not a ...
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1answer
80 views

Cosmological redshift in a lab?

I want to consider a thought experiment. Lets ignore technical problems of actually performing such an experiment. Consider two photons having the same wavelength. We send 1 photon to a distant ...
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1answer
79 views

Is gravity reversed during inflation?

I am not clear on that. Is gravity repulsive during inflation?
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2answers
152 views

Does the black hole only increase?

I don't understand this: The more mass a Black Hole has, the more gravity it create! The more gravity it has, the more mass it can get! With this lines, someday, all the universe will be a black ...
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1answer
138 views

Does the big bang violate the conservation of energy? [duplicate]

It is a fact that a thing is existing now because it had already been created. So why don't we take this to account to redefine law of conservation of energy.
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3answers
100 views

What happened to high temperatures in the universe?

We know that after the big bang the temperature was about 10^32 K. But now the average temperature of the universe is about 4 K. What happened to the temperature at that time? Where did it go?
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2answers
165 views

What is the universe expanding into? [duplicate]

Due to curiosity, it made me wonder what is outside of the universe, is it a new chemical or just empty space? But empty space have protons appearing and disappearing in it, it basically still has ...
2
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2answers
96 views

Do bubble universes have a centre?

This question is motivated by Big Bang Physics/Cosmology. If eternal inflation is a good description of the universe and we live in a bubble universe then presumably our bubble nucleated at a ...
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1answer
224 views

How far away is Cosmic Background Radiation? [duplicate]

I've been reading about Cosmic Background Radiation (CMBR) lately. My understanding so far is that this is the "Noise"/"Flash" from the big bang. Assuming that information is correct, how far away ...
2
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4answers
191 views

Expansion of the universe and strain

From cosmological models that involve expansion of the universe, can we not say that there are ever increasing tidal forces felt by solid bodies? If so, the material in solid bodies like metal ...
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0answers
49 views

Never ending inflation

There are a lot of different models of inflation in cosmology, with plenty of different features and issues. I read that the problem with some models is that they introduce a never-ending inflation, ...
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0answers
112 views

Which cosmological models support the Boltzmann Brain Paradox?

In this article, they mention that the Boltzmann Brain paradox is supported by 'the best cosmological models.' However, it gives no references, and I haven't found any by a Google search. I was ...