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
54 views
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71 views

Tachyonic field

i'm working on a paper about symmetron cosmology. symmetron is a scalar field that by its symmetry breaking can explain the dark energy. the action is: ans A , V are assumed to be: where M ...
12
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5answers
3k views

Is the total energy of the universe constant?

If total energy is conserved just transformed and never newly created, is there a sum of all energies that is constant? Why is it probably not that easy?
26
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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 ...
5
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3answers
228 views

Is energy conserved in general relativity? Does $\nabla_aT^{ab}=0$ represent the conservation of energy and momentum?

For example, the radiation dominated cosmology, the energy density of radiation is propotional to $a^{-4}$ and the volume is propotional to $a^3$, where $a$ is the scale factor. So the total energy ...
12
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3answers
835 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
27 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?
3
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0answers
16 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.
6
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2answers
80 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 ...
1
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2answers
43 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 ...
6
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1answer
139 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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2answers
258 views

if the universe is flat does it mean it exists only in our mind as math? [closed]

My dad, who is a retired mathematician, has this attitude, which I think we all have as kids, that ultimately reality is made of stuff. End of story. If you look around yourself in the world, ...
5
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4answers
233 views

How does the formation of a solar system not break the second law of thermodynamics?

Please forgive: I am a layman when it comes to physics and cosmology, and have tried finding an answer to this that I can understand, with no luck. As I understand it, the solar system evolved from a ...
9
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2answers
1k views

How far away must a galaxy be for its light never to reach us due to the expansion of the universe?

My understanding is that at the present rate of expansion of the universe some galaxies are growing more distant from us at such a rate that light from them will never reach us. My question is how far ...
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1answer
48 views

Why did the big bang explode if there is no oxygen in space? [duplicate]

If there is no oxygen in space, where the super dense singular object was suspended, then why did it explode because this reaction needs oxygen?
0
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1answer
35 views

Universe from nothing [duplicate]

Does this video make sense? The Simple Math for a Universe from Nothing I mean, can I really explain a "universe from nothing" is this simple manner?
1
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1answer
68 views

Eddington-Weinberg relation

The numerical coincidence that triggered Dirac to postulate his Large Number Hypothesis can be summarized by expressing the proton-electron gravitational angular momentum in units $\hbar c$: ...
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0answers
13 views

Does the concept of the big bang negate entropy and prevent the eventual Heat Death?

According to my understanding of the big bang, it was one event in which existence flickered into life in a perfect vacuum (nothingness). Given that "time" extends to mind-boggling (and immeasurable) ...
2
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1answer
166 views

Difference between horizon and flatness problems & how inflation solves flatness (w/out math)

Layman here so I'm hoping for an answer for my query that doesn't involve math. I'm reading about inflation and how it solves the flatness and horizon problems. I get that the horizon problem deals ...
54
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4answers
6k views

Did the Big Bang happen at a point?

TV documentaries invariably show the Big Bang as an exploding ball of fire expanding outwards. Did the Big Bang really explode outwards from a point like this? If not, what did happen?
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2answers
2k views

What does it mean that the universe is “infinite”?

This question is about cosmology and general relativity. I understand the difference between the universe and the observable universe. What I am not really clear about is what is meant when I read ...
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2answers
64 views

Can Einstein's constant explain expansion?

I read somewhere that Einstein or Newton believed that the universe was completely static, where it neither expanded nor contracted, but simply remained fixed. It was concluded that due to attraction ...
6
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3answers
522 views

The Big Bang in an infinite universe

If the universe is spatially infinite (and assuming, if it makes a difference, that we don't have eternal inflation), what actually happened 13.7 billion years ago? Was the energy density infinite (or ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Infinite Universe and Big Bang

A common view now in the physics community is that the Universe is infinite in extent (which makes Hubble sphere an infinitely small part of the Universe). On the other hand, there is the Big Bang ...
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3answers
56 views

How do you define a “universe” (in the context of multiverse)?

How do you define a universe (in the context of multiverse)? The traditional definition of universe is something like "The Universe is all of spacetime and everything that exists therein". But in ...
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1answer
61 views

What happens to black holes if/when the universe “ends”

I've heard several ideas about what happens to the universe when it dies, and they range from infinite expansion and heat death, to a "big crunch". In the event that something like a "big crunch" ...
1
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1answer
34 views

Does the CMB signal get weaker over time?

If the universe is infinite or flat, then this isn't true (I guess). But if the universe is finite, then as it expands wouldn't the CMB signal weaker at any given point over time?
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2answers
47 views

Do things in the universe get farther apart or bigger? (Amateur)

To start off I would like to say I am a complete amateur and have no experience in physics! I am just a sophomore in high school with some questions. Now that that is out of the way. There are many ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Light speed after the Big Bang

We know that immediately after the Big Bang space was opaque to light. As space expanded, light could travel. However I would think that as space expanded at some de sites the light would be much ...
4
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1answer
110 views

Probability of spontaneous Boltzmann brain formation

I was reading through: http://www.scottaaronson.com/papers/giqtm3.pdf But I can't make sense of page 61 discussing Boltzmann brains. Specifically the fact that it says: But the problem is worse. ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Quantum Wavefunctions Without Space

A handful of physicists have a rather peculiar definition of 'nothing' in terms of cosmology. Their claim is that the Universe, assuming it has 0 total energy, could have arisen from nothing but ...
0
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2answers
22 views

entropy-infomartion correlation at preliminary universe?

according to the theory of cosmic inflation after Alan Guth, the information should have travelled 100 times the speed of light at the very beginning after the big bang. -when we talk about ...
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1answer
50 views

How much real and how much relative is our universe?

Apologies in advance if my question appears more philosophical than practical. It is indeed philosophy, but a philosophy relating to our scientific understanding of the universe as a whole. Special ...
7
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2answers
492 views

How would the universe be different if the electron mass was twice as large? [closed]

Would the universe even start? Would it collapse or act differently? What if, instead, the mass changed right now? Edit: Since this is too broad lets narrow it to two scenarios: What happens to ...
4
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2answers
117 views

How can a black hole zap a galaxy into existence?

I am referring to this picture published here. Apparently super massive black holes emit radiation and matter in astrophysical jets. And these jets can form galaxies. I have some questions: Isn't ...
2
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1answer
46 views

Can the vacuum energy be made finite with quantized space

From what I know the reason we have infinite vacuum energy is because according to Quantum Field Theory at every point in space we something analogous to a harmonic oscillator but since the Zero Point ...
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2answers
70 views

Is the big bang a fact? [duplicate]

I have watched many physics debated and in everyone of them, physicists take big bang for granted. But, is the big bang actually proven, or there are many evidence that indicate that it did happen?
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Neutrino decoupling and units

I have a problem that states: In the early Universe, neutrinos can be created and destroyed by the process: \begin{equation} \nu \bar{\nu} \leftrightarrow e^{+}e^{-} \end{equation} The thermally ...
9
votes
1answer
386 views

Are the distances we measure to objects in the universe incorrect because of their relative motion?

For example the agreed distance to the Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light years, and consequentially, we see the galaxy as it was 2.5 million years ago! (A time interval in which the galaxy must ...
1
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0answers
30 views

Calculating the age of the Universe at temperature 1 MeV [duplicate]

I've been told to calculate the age of the Universe at $T = 1 \, \text{MeV}$, assuming that $a(t=0)=0$. Now, I've already calculated the value of $H$ at that temperature, which was around ...
0
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1answer
65 views

Can the energy of the universe ever be infinite in qunatum physics? [closed]

Suppose that the universe runs under some variants of QFT, with universal wavefunction and Hamiltonian. Then would infinite energy of the universe ever be possible? According to what I am thinking, ...
0
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1answer
75 views

Do Quantum Fluctuations happen evenly through universe?

I was wondering if Quantum Fluctuations are completely unpredictable, but do our observations tell us if these fluctuations happen evenly through space or are there regions where more quantum ...
2
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0answers
23 views

What role did the Higgs boson play in the Big Bang?

Scientists say that inflation stopped when a very peculiar energy was mobilized, did Higgs boson play any role in this? What is it's relation to the Big Bang? Some physicists, such as Michio Kaku, ...
0
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0answers
19 views

Space Between Current universe and point of origin [duplicate]

If universe is expanding like a balloon from point zero to current space time. what is there in between the point of origin and current universe. Is there still hot energy in between the current ...
4
votes
1answer
28 views

Calculating the angular power spectrum of a section of sky

To calculate the angular power spectrum $C_l$ of the whole sky, one uses the variance of the coefficients of the spherical harmonics in the temperature fluctuation field. I.e. $$C_l = ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Spiral Galaxies and Gravity Lenses

Spiral Galaxies must have a great deal more mass than elliptical galaxies of the same size in order to account for the flat velocity curve. I've seen references of eight to ten times the visible ...
0
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0answers
18 views

frequency shift in background radiation, where is the missing energy? [duplicate]

It is known that the dilatation of the universe cause a shift in frequency in the background radiation toward lower frequencies. It is also known that photons with lower frequency have lower energy ...
7
votes
2answers
271 views

Quantum Entanglement Versus Inflation in the Early Universe?

Quantum entanglement is one of the most fascinating and mysterious phenomena in nature. It needs no interactions, or any sort of exchange for it to take place. It is possible, not against any rules of ...
6
votes
4answers
234 views

Do photons make the universe expand?

I have a problem understanding the ideas behind a basic assumption of cosmology. The Friedmann equations follow from Newtonian mechanics and conservation of Energy-momentum $(E_{kin}+E_{pot}=E_{tot})$ ...
9
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2answers
329 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 ...