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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1answer
494 views

Is spacetime an illusion?

In consistent histories, for gauge theories, can the projection operators used in the chains be not gauge invariant? In quantum gravity, for a projection operator to be gauge invariant means it has ...
1
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0answers
56 views

The definition of $f_{NL}$ and transfer function

To me there seems to be quite a few different definitions of $f_{NL}$ in cosmology and I would like to know if or how they are equivalent. Let me cite at least 3 such, One can see the equation 6.71 ...
2
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2answers
191 views

What is the curvature of the universe?

What is currently the most plausible model of the universe regarding curvature, positive, negative or flat? (I'm sorry if the answer is already out there, but I just can't seem to find it...)
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Dark energy before radiation or after?

In the cosmic history of the universe, does the dark energy comes before the radiation epoch, or only now, in the 'matter' universe (matter dominated era)? Because, we now know that like 75% of our ...
2
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1answer
233 views

Did force of gravity cause evolution of large scale structures?

Did big bang create gravity? What role gravity is assumed to have played in the formation (starting from the big bang) of large structures of our universe and what other important physical mechanisms ...
-2
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2answers
112 views

How exactly, or whats the process, rather, of energy changing into matter?

$E=mc^2$ this is the equation by Einstein claiming energy can change from energy to mass. this would happened at the big bang I assume, when electrons and protons were made to create hydrogen and some ...
2
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0answers
66 views

Topological Solitons and the Higgs Condensate entanglement

While focusing on resolutions to the Firewall controversy, and the possible implications of the Higgs field as it relates to the issue, the possibility of using EPR correlations in the Higgs ...
2
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3answers
183 views

Temperature in space

Temperature is a measure of kinetic energy transferred to particles, henceforth, space being vacuum, temperature cannot be measured. But then, there is cosmic background radiation. It is the leftover ...
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1answer
145 views

Cosmology: can something come from nothing? [closed]

It is often said that something CANNOT come out of nothing? Is this true? Is there a way to test the properties of nothing to make this assertion?
5
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0answers
69 views

$f_{NL}$ non-Gaussianity in cosmology

In the context of cosmology, what is meant by "..arbitrary quadratic non-Gaussianity i.e non-Gaussianity that is described to leading order by a 3-point function.."? (.."quadratic non-Gaussianity" ...
2
votes
1answer
373 views

Dirac Equation in General Relativity

Dirac equation for the massless fermions in curved spase time is $γ^ae^μ_aD_μΨ=0$, where $e^μ_a$ are the tetrads. I have to show that Dirac spinors obey the following equation: ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Time for Light to travel from most distant objects in universe

I understand that it is possible to detect the most distant objects in space over 13 billion light years away from us and that the universe is 13.75 billion years old. Does this imply that there were ...
2
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0answers
65 views

How can I read density fluctuation from microwaves?

The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation shows temperature differences. The red and yellow areas are warmer. The green and blue areas are cooler. For example consider this picture of CMBR ...
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1answer
96 views

The argument for cosmological natural selection

I am reading Smolin's book Life of the Cosmos. One part which I can hardly understand is the argument for cosmological natural selection as a scientific principle. Smolin keeps on saying that ...
4
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3answers
336 views

Question on inflation

I have two particular questions regarding the inflationary scenario. They are: 1.) What is the physical origin of the inflaton field? 2.) Why has the potential of the inflation field its particular ...
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2answers
198 views

Is Dark Energy converted to Gravitational Potential Energy?

Dark Energy is basically doing work against gravity to accelerate the expansion of universe. So, for time-translational symmetry to be hold, dark energy must be converted to gravitational potential ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Does the amount of gravitational potential energy in the universe increase as it expands?

It seems to me that extra gravitational potential energy is created as the universe expands and the distance between massive objects such as galaxy clusters increases; this implies that energy is not ...
3
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0answers
42 views

In the αβγ cosmology paper, how do the authors assume the integral of density over time in the early universe?

In the famous Alpher-Bethe-Gamow paper, the authors say: "it is necessary to assume the integral of $\sigma_n dt$ during the building-up period is equal to $5 \times 10^4 \frac{\text{g ...
3
votes
1answer
208 views

Question on inflation as a phase transition

I have just finished watching the following video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beQ9fZ0jVdE where Laughlin, Gross and some students discuss e.g. about inflation. The following question is risen: Is ...
0
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1answer
99 views

How to understand movement in expanding universe?

I know that universe is expanding equally between every pair of points but it was a single point in it's very past... so I was wondering if we could locate this center point of universe. Now I know ...
4
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2answers
232 views

Total Energy of the Universe? [duplicate]

I've heard the total energy is zero, but I've also heard it cannot be said to be zero since there's so much unknown stuff in the universe. Is that true?
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2answers
98 views

Distance of universe's most distant objects in relation to expansion of the universe

Was reading this article about the Hubble XDF and it had the quote: The most distant objects here are over 13 billion light years away, and we see them when they were only 500 million years old. ...
2
votes
1answer
366 views

Curiosity episode with Stephen Hawking. The Big-Bang

In an episode of Discovery's Curiosity with host Stephen Hawking, he claims the Big Bang event can be explained from physics alone, and does not require the intervention of a creator. 1) His ...
1
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1answer
223 views

Parallel universe and Infinite monkey theorem [closed]

Is the Infinite monkey theorem helpful for determining the existence of the very same our universe somewhere else?
1
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2answers
316 views

Dark matter and dark energy [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Dark matter references I have recently read about dark matter and dark energy, and why physicists think it must exist (dark matter: mass of galaxies are far bigger than ...
2
votes
0answers
110 views

How does one derive the 2 halo term in two-point correlation function

This question is in reference to the paper here. In Equation (86) on page 28, the authors have given the two point correlation function \begin{equation*} \xi(\mathbf{x}-\mathbf{x}^{\prime}) = ...
4
votes
6answers
213 views

Why are distant galaxies not actually tiny bits of matter?

Distant galaxies are said to be moving away from the Milky Way (and us) at speeds approaching the speed of light. Since Special Relativity tells us that any object moving away from us at a velocity of ...
3
votes
2answers
324 views

What is the current radius of cosmological event horizon?

Doing some crude calculations (using the value of $H_0$ at this point of time only, since it is time dependent but not distance dependent thanks to Johannes answer) what is the radius of cosmological ...
4
votes
0answers
212 views

Conservation of Energy in the Universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is energy really conserved? Why can’t energy be created or destroyed? One of the laws of the universe that dazzles me the most is the law of conservation of energy. I ...
13
votes
2answers
380 views

Limitations on how far one can travel in the universe

Someone once incorrectly told me that, given the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe, aliens would have to live for hundreds of years if they are to travel distances of hundreds of light ...
5
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2answers
127 views

following up dark matter accretion in supermassive black holes

A while ago, there was some conspicuous evidence that supermassive black holes didn't seem to be eating dark matter at the expected rate of 70%-30%, in fact, only 10% of the black hole mass increase ...
2
votes
3answers
457 views

If everything in the universe doubled in size overnight, would it be noticeable?

By my understanding, if everything doubled in size, such as the Sun and the Earth, and because the space in between them (which is nothing) can't expand, would the gravities greatly change and the ...
2
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2answers
1k views

The meaning of multiverse

A) I am intrigued by the multiverse theory as mentioned in Stephen Hawking's new book, "The Grand Design". According to his theory, one can have different 'universes' in one ultimate existence, a ...
12
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4answers
2k views

The meaning of imaginary time

What is imaginary (or complex) time? I was reading about Hawking's wave function of the universe and this topic came up. If imaginary mass and similar imaginary quantities do not make sense in ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

Polaris distance correction and implications for cosmological measurements

Polaris has been a guiding light of navigation for centuries. But Polaris also happens to be the closest cepheid variable to our sun. These, together with the type II-A supernovae constitute standard ...
5
votes
3answers
283 views

Is observable universe an explanation against Olbers' paradox?

First of all, let me tell you that I'm not a physicist but rather a computer scientist with a mere interest in physics at nowhere near a professional level so feel free to close this question if it ...
1
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1answer
687 views

Is it possible that the Big Bang was caused by virtual particle creation?

As far as I understand, it is understood that throughout the universe there exists, what is known as, a quantum field from which, due to its fluctuations, temporary (pairs of) virtual particles ...
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0answers
52 views

What's a compact scientific answer to question “(Why there is) / (what is before) the Big Bang?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Did spacetime start with the Big bang? on causality and The Big Bang Theory Before the Big Bang What's a compact scientific answer to question "(Why there is) / ...
5
votes
5answers
498 views

Do new universes form on the other side of black holes?

I have four questions about black holes and universe formations. Do new universes form on the other side of black holes? Was our own universe formed by this process? Was our big bang a black hole ...
1
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2answers
246 views

Cosmology questions from a novice

These ideas/questions probably represent a lack of understanding on my part, but here they are: 1) Cosmologists talk about the increasing speed of expansion of the universe and talk of dark energy as ...
3
votes
2answers
328 views

(Co)homology of the universe

In this post let $U$ be the universe considered as a manifold. From what I gather we don't really have any firm evidence whether the universe is closed or open. The evidence seems to point towards it ...
2
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0answers
63 views

Wick rotation for FRW in quantum gravity

There is no timelike Killing vector for FRW cosmologies. In the path integral formalism, is it possible to Wick rotate for quantum cosmology in quantum gravity? If yes, how? If no, how does one work ...
1
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3answers
425 views

Mechanism for the gravitational field generated by photons

This question follows from a schooling I received in this thread. I figured that photons do not interact with gravity, except when they've spontaneously converted into a particle-antiparticle pair. ...
2
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0answers
159 views

Question on the Gell-Mann Low equation

Question on the Gell-Mann Low Equation. In this paper, http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.3365, page 21, the author argues that if: t →∞(1-iϵ), all the terms in equation (193) goes to zero, except the first ...
1
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5answers
606 views

Why can't missing mass be photons?

After a star lives and dies, I assume virtually all of it's mass would be photons. If enough stars have already lived and died, couldn't there be enough photon energy out there to account for all the ...
3
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3answers
227 views

Assuming SUSY is found to be incorrect, what would then be the most compelling candidates for dark matter?

From what I've read, the only remaining candidates appear to be either sterile neutrinos or MOND (MOdified Newtonian Dynamics -- it does seem to keep changing.) Did I miss anything else plausible?
4
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5answers
419 views

How is distance measured to far away stars and galaxies?

What I need is an accurate description of the methods used to determine the distance to Andromeda. The Parallax method is for nearby objects as I presume. The red shift method applies, but how do you ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Fractal Cosmology and Misner's Chaotic Cosmology

I have a question pertaining to the ideas behind the considered homogeneity and isotropic nature of the universe (at a grand scale) versus the theory of a chaotic and anisotropy structure of the ...
2
votes
2answers
269 views

Could dark energy be heat? Could dark matter be stuff that is not seen because of its refraction limits?

Heat has to go somewhere. Would the light and heat of the stars in the universe amount up to being dark matter ...and dark energy ... Dark matter would just be small pieces of stuff. Dark energy ...
0
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1answer
774 views

How does an inflationary universe solve the Flatness Problem, Horizon Problem and Monopole Problem? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the evidence for Inflation of the early universe? I am reading some public science books on inflationary universe, e.g. The Inflationary Universe by A. Guth. ...