The universe refers to the cosmos; all of space-time and that which exists as part of it. Alternatively, it can refer to the observable universe, which only contains the part we can see. Questions tagged with this should ask about physics at scales the size of the universe or specific properties of ...

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7answers
2k views

Are we inside a black hole?

I was surprised to only recently notice that An object of any density can be large enough to fall within its own Schwarzschild radius. Of course! It turns out that supermassive black holes at ...
8
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1answer
165 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 ...
1
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4answers
1k views

Is there anything physically infinite?

I can't think of a single thing that could be infinite. Because the universe is expanding, isn't it? But there is an ever-changing barrier, so why could there be anything infinite, both ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Infinite universe - Jumping to pointless conclusions

I watched an episode of thee BBC Horizon series titled 'To infinity and beyond'. In this program a number of respected physicists and mathematicians were talking about the nature of infinity and an ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Do we live in a world with 4 or more dimension?

A NOVA show have told the audience that we are live in 3 dimensional world, the world we lived in is compose by 3 element: the energy, matter, space. By the time Einstein have invented the ...
3
votes
3answers
258 views

Dark age of universe when all fusion process ceases?

Some say we live in the golden age of the universe because there exits countless number of stars that shines in the dark universe. As the supply of gas for star formation is steadily being exhausted, ...
7
votes
3answers
596 views

Dark Energy / Accelerating universe: naive question

Folks, I have a naive question regarding the subject of dark energy and an accelerating universe: From what I understand/read, it seems that the further we look out into deep space, the faster the ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

What are the most realistic ways of high speed space propulsion?

Liquid and solid chemical fuels in rockets are very expensive and inefficient. I have heard of solar sails but what are the most realistic space travel fuels that will be used in the future to get ...
0
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1answer
139 views

How would it be to look at the sky if the earth were near the edge of the universe?

By looking at this picture: http://earthspacecircle.blogspot.com/2013/01/earths-location-in-universe.html The earth is near the center of the universe. I've read that the universe look the same no ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Is the universe finite and discrete?

Is the universe finite, both in the sense of being a closed spacetime manifold, as viewed from the macro level, but also in the sense of being fully discrete and finite in all of its intricate quantum ...
1
vote
3answers
145 views

Is the universe flat?

There are more than one way to view the description of the universe as flat. There is the description of an open, flat or closed universe in terms of it's fate, expansion forever away from gravity, or ...
1
vote
2answers
127 views

How can space expand?

How can space expand when it is only a perception of the separation between at least 2 objects. Isn't saying "space expands" implying it has properties?
1
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2answers
83 views

Expanding universe and the peculiar velocity

Hubble's law states that the universe is expanding with a velocity equals Hubble's constant*distance from earth. But, recent findings show that the Andromeda galaxy is actually blueshifting towards us ...
1
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3answers
124 views

If everything in existence were increasing in size at some rate, would we be able to detect it?

Would our eyes observe any changes? What about electronic measurement devices?
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
230 views

Cosmological redshift interpretation

Can the cosmological redshift be interpreted as atomic frequencies increasing by the scale factor as the Universe expands? This explanation seems closer to the truth than the popular idea that a ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

Regarding possibility of infinitely many spatial dimensions

Recently I was taking a look at a video explaining the existence of fourth spatial dimension and thereupon that infinitely many spatial dimensions are possible. Also it showed that what Einstein told ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How can we be so sure the universe has 3 dimensions?

I'm just a layman here so please bear with me if I don't get all the words or theories by correct name or whatever. I hope it will be clear enough what my question is. Here goes: When I read articles ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

How many times has the “stuff” in our solar system been recycled from previous stars?

Is there a cosmologist in the house? I've got a basic understanding (with some degree of error) of some simple facts: The Universe is a little over 13 billion years old. Our galaxy is almost that ...
4
votes
0answers
224 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a finite amount of mass in the universe? [duplicate]

So, I'm not too physics savvy but I am curious to ask. Is there a finite amount of mass in the universe? or is there more and more being created from somewhere or something? If the universe is ...
4
votes
3answers
395 views

Why did decoherence start in the first place?

We learn that the quantum wave function $\Psi$ collapses when it interacts with a classic object (measurement). My question is: Why are there classic objects after all, how did it all start? In a ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

Can universal continuity be experimentally falsified?

It is an unresolved question whether the universe is discrete or continuous in its intricate quantum level structure. See for example: Is the universe finite and discrete? How could spacetime become ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Zero energy universe

Regarding this thread: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=506985 Why is the idea that the total energy in the universe "zero" so popular (re: Laurence Krauss) and why is the flatness of ...
11
votes
4answers
594 views

Can physics get rid of the continuum?

Almost every physical equation I can think of (even though I don't actually feel comfortable beyond the scope of classical mechanics and macroscopic thermodynamics, as that's enough for dealing with ...
9
votes
4answers
545 views

Are we big or small?

How does the size of humans compare to the size of other objects in the universe? Are we among the relatively large or the relatively small things? My very preliminary research suggests that the ...
7
votes
4answers
611 views

What does ionization of neutral Hydrogen have to do with “transparency”?

Most accounts of the early history of the Universe make some reference to (re)ionization as being the reason that the Universe becomes transparent after a period of opacity caused by the absence of ...
6
votes
4answers
617 views

Is space unending?

Is the space unending, i.e it has no boundaries? If yes, how can a thing exist which is non-ending? Its impossible for me to imagine something like that. Secondly, if its not and has boundaries then ...
5
votes
2answers
259 views

Questions about the Jeans length

I have a couple of questions about the Jeans length. Suppose the universe has a homogeneous energy density, except there's a spherical region that is overdense. I understand that if the region is ...
5
votes
3answers
323 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
613 views

Alternative theories to the big bang?

Hey all, are there any theories out there on the origins (or infinite existence of) the universe beside the big bang that actually adhere to current scientific knowledge and fact?
2
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
79 views

Universe Expansion

I know the galaxies are moving away from us (faster and faster) but when we say the universe is expanding, is that really only pertaining to the galaxies expanding or is the space itself expanding? I ...
5
votes
4answers
488 views

Expansion of the Universe, will light from some galaxies never reach us?

Is it true that the light from some galaxies will never reach us? The explanation for that is that the Universe expanding faster than the speed of light. But, if the speed of light is constant in ...
5
votes
1answer
387 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
246 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?
4
votes
1answer
428 views

Does the universe obey the holographic principle due to Stokes' theorem?

Does the universe obey the holographic principle due to Stokes' theorem? \begin{equation} \int\limits_{\partial\Omega}\omega = \int\limits_{\Omega}\mathrm{d}\omega. \end{equation} Can this ...
4
votes
2answers
537 views

What is the inertial frame that explains the Foucault Pendulum?

I know that the Foucault pendulum rotation in relation to Earth is a proof that the object is inertial in relation to the distant stars. But what makes them more important than the Earth? Are they an ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

What would happen in the final days of the universe?

I would like to know the stages of how the universe would end and what would happen and what the possible scenarios are. I understand that eventually all the stars would burn out and that would ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

If we were able to double the mass of the ordinary matter in the universe it will recollapse?

What will happen if we suppose to be able to add mass at the universe? For example doubling the mass of the ordinary matter?
2
votes
1answer
169 views

How much lead is there in the universe?

I know there is around 10^80 atoms in the observable universe, but is there any estimate the amount of lead in the universe (within a couple magnitudes of 10)?
2
votes
1answer
268 views

What happend with the light from all the galaxies visibles from an earth telescope?

Supposing it's possible to see some distant galaxies with an earth telescope, then, at the tip of the telescope lens there are photons comming from the distant galaxy... So, if I extend my hand in a ...
1
vote
1answer
83 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
171 views

Does the Universe have finite number of particles? [duplicate]

I read that the number of atoms in the entire observable universe is estimated to be within the range of $10^{78}$ to $10^{82}$. Does the Universe have finite number of particles? If so, how could it ...
1
vote
4answers
258 views

The universe is expanding but why the galaxies have no motion?

It is said that the universe is expanding and the galaxies are moving apart. I understand that the space between every two galaxies is increasing. Doesn't this seem to imply that the galaxies will ...
1
vote
1answer
197 views

What exactly is expanding when they say universe is expanding? [duplicate]

We know that universe is expanding and galaxies are moving away from each other. Does this mean the galaxies are also expanding in itself and therefore I guess growing larger in volume? Depending on ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Would the universe get consumed by blackholes because of entropy?

Since the total entropy of the universe is increasing because of spontaneous processes, black holes form because of entropy (correct me if I'm wrong), and the universe is always expanding, would the ...
1
vote
1answer
253 views

What is the curvature of an empty universe?

My calculations tell me an empty universe has hyperbolic curvature. Is this correct? If it is, can anyone help me understand why this is intuitively?
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Is the speed of light the ultimate speed limit? [duplicate]

As we all know nothing can go faster than the speed of light as mentioned by most of our pioneer's in physics. But as I was listening to one of the statements of Sir. Stephen Hawkins he stated that at ...
1
vote
1answer
175 views

Universal expansion faster than the speed of light

If the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light, and force carrier particles move at the speed of light, wouldn't this cause infinite universal expansion? Since no forces would be acting ...