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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

15
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
330 views

As the universe expands, the wavelengths of photons are stretched, and energy is lost. What about electrons?

Will electrons, and other particles, also loose energy as they travel through the cosmos? They have wavelengths. Do they get "stretched"? My guess is that the EM force, somehow, counteracts this ...
12
votes
6answers
733 views

Is time travel impossible because it implies total energy in the universe is non-constant over time?

I have always argued with my friends regarding Time Travel that it is impossible. My argument has been that it will destroy the theory that all the energy in the universe is constant since when one ...
6
votes
1answer
702 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?
5
votes
2answers
358 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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
420 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
264 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
202 views

A question about multiverse

I have a question that I would like to ask here since I'm not an expert or any near to that. Actually I just came up with this question when I was watching The fabric of cosmos. I couldn't find where ...
11
votes
4answers
642 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
1k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
708 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
166 views

How do we estimate $10^{23}$ stars in the observable universe?

Now, I read somewhere, that there are $10^{23}$ stars in the observable universe. How did scientists estimate this?
5
votes
3answers
399 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
6answers
2k views

Does gravity slow the expansion of the universe?

Does gravity slow the expansion of the universe? I read through the thread http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=322633 and I have the same question. I know that the universe is not being ...
2
votes
1answer
240 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Could these hypothetical very long distance properties of light offer alternatives to an expanding universe or a finite number of galaxies?

Assume that there could be a property of light that it gets very gradually steadily red-shifted by traveling large astronomical distances, in exactly the same way that Doppler shift from receding ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Infinite space or finite space?

I have been reading about the nature of space (Brian Greene's and Max Tegmark's recent books) and have a question on the size of space. Both references acknowledge that general relativity equations ...
1
vote
1answer
209 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
2answers
1k views

If the universe is 3D, how is space-time like a “fabric”? [duplicate]

I have been taught that space-time should be viewed as a fabric and that objects with a large gravitational influence indent that fabric. My question is, if the singularity of a black-hole punctures ...
0
votes
2answers
496 views

Why does time exist? [closed]

So I have been thinking about some subjects and one of it involves time. And I tried writing a story/question on here to summarize the bigger picture but it's not going to happen it's too complicated ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Are there more reasons why we can not be part of an $n$ dimensional Game Of Life?

After talking with a colleague about the possible nature of the limitation of information propagation to c, and how everything can be seen relative to it, we wondered if the nature to this could be ...
0
votes
4answers
1k views

Atoms pop out of nothing/vacuum/pre-big-bang?

I saw a great documentary last night about 'nothing'. It's about vacuums, and how if you have a total vacuum atoms will pop out of nowhere! Pretty crazy stuff. Atoms literally coming out of ...
-1
votes
2answers
60 views

Why should I believe that matter does not expand along with the space between it [duplicate]

This question has been asked before under other guises. I am not a scientific profesional however i have some schooling in pyhsics and mathematics and have a keen interest in these subjects. It seems ...
-2
votes
1answer
79 views

Are all galaxies we see really our Milky Way? Any possibility?

There is a possibility for our universe to be the surface volume of a (higher-dimensional) hyperspace. So if this possibility is true,then is there also a possibility that the other galaxies we see ...
8
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
497 views

If the universe is full of dark matter, why is it only 2.73 K cold?

people! I am just a physics layman, but I recently watched a documentary about the universe and it was told that the universe is full of dark matter and energy and the universe is empty, so that ...
5
votes
1answer
520 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
428 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
3answers
795 views

Looking out into the universe means looking back in time - how does that work?

This is a question that has been gnawing on me for many years now. Back a long time ago, as I recall in reference to a scene in a popular science show on TV, I was asked the following. The claim is ...
4
votes
2answers
289 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
2answers
679 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
140 views

Estimating age of the universe by Hubble's law?

Hubble's law states that $v=Hx$ Age of the universe is calculated by $T= \frac{x}{v} = \frac{1}{H}$ but the velocity is not constant; it changes with distance, so I think that this equation cannot ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Scale factor and age of the universe

Why is the cosmological scale factor (expansion rate of the universe) not simply the time $t$, i.e. the age of the universe?
3
votes
1answer
160 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
79 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
282 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
3answers
228 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
323 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
2answers
198 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
339 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
84 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
499 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
60 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
203 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

is gravity always the weakest force [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does it mean to say “Gravity is the weakest of the forces”? Strongest force in nature It is usually taught that the gravitational force is the weakest ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How can galaxies collide if everything moving outwards

If the universe started from Big Bang and everything is expanding outwards and actually accelerating away from each other, than "How is it possible for two galaxies to collide as they all are moving ...
1
vote
1answer
269 views

Are there any theories or suggestions for how the multiverse came into existence?

I've just seen a documentary about the multiverse. This provides an explanation for where the big bang came from. But it leaves me wondering: how did the multiverse come into existence? Because this ...