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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Physical laws prior the big bang (quantum fluctuations)

A theory among scientists says that quantum fluctuations caused the big bang and created the universe. This seems plausible to me. What I can't grasp yet is how a quantum fluctuation can even start ...
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Angular Power Spectrum of CMB

I was wondering, if anyone could guide me through the different peaks of this spectrum (See below)? I've been reading and reading numerous pages about this, but I can't seem to get my head around this....
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486 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 ...
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411 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 ...
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271 views

Poincare recurrence and the multiverse

In this paper Susskind claims that a stable de Sitter universe is problematic (among other things) due to the existence of Poincare recurrence, which happen because of finite entropy. I disagree that ...
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What is the extent of the universe?

Is there any realistic, understandable, provable (even in some extent) explanation/model for the extent of the universe? What is its shape? and Why? I mean physical explanations not philosophical ...
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10k views

How can something happen when time does not exist?

I saw this documentary hosted by Stephen Hawkins. And if I didn't get it wrong, it says that there was no time before the big bang, time was created there. So how can anything happen when there is ...
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Entropy of an empty universe

After watching the first episode of wonders of the solar system, one question came up which is not explained. Bryan Cox says that ultimately the universe will be devoid of matter, so not even a ...
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1answer
596 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 ...
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4answers
919 views

Can a perfectly mathematically describable universe exist in a multiverse?

Assuming inter-universal (see here) travel is possible, can a perfectly mathematically describable universe exist inside a multiverse? If it could, would that mean that the multiverse is ...
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4answers
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As the universe expands, why do some things stretch but not others?

I got into watching a video on Olbers' Paradox a few days ago, and from there read about the origins of the universe, its expansion, and so on... it's always fascinated me, but now something about it ...
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751 views

If the size of universe doubled

My question is silly formulated, but I want to know if there is some sensible physical question buried in it: Suppose an exact copy of our universe is made, but where spatial distances and sizes are ...
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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 ...
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441 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 ...
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4answers
675 views

Before the Big Bang

I've heard this saying before I don't know about anyone else. It says, "What ever was before the Big Bang is something physics can't explain..! Is this saying true (accurate)?
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How do we know the size of the universe?

Ok, from astronomical observations we can tell that the observable matter is separating - so rewind the clock about 13.7 billion years and it was all at a single point. However, how do we distinguish ...
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2answers
207 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?
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6answers
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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 ...
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3answers
252 views

How does dark energy allow the universes expansion to accelerate?

I was wondering how dark energy is effecting the rate at which the universes expansion occurs.
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2answers
557 views

Are the implications of an infinite universe necessarily so unsettling

I have often heard it said (by professional cosmologists) that if the universe is infinite, then there necessarily exist infinitely many copies of me repeated throughout. The reasoning seems to be ...
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2answers
272 views

How is the shape of the universe measured by scientists?

I would like to learn how scientists go about measuring the large-scale curvature of the universe to determine if the universe is closed 'i.e. spherical', flat, or open 'i.e. saddle shaped'. My ...
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1answer
238 views

Speed of light and current dimensions of the universe [duplicate]

I've seen several documentaries explaining that the diameter of the universe is currently estimated at over 90 billion light-years. And which that - in the face of the age of the universe being about ...
5
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2answers
690 views

What is the equation for the scale factor of the universe, a(t), for the best fit of data to the $\Lambda CDM$ Model of Cosmology?

Ideally I like a single formula or multiple formulas for different time ranges that would cover the time from the end of inflation through 100+ billion years after the big bang using the $\Lambda CDM$...
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1answer
167 views

Lower limit of the size of the Universe? (WMAP)

The measurement of the WMAP satellite resulted a planar geometry of the universe with a 0.4% uncertainity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shape_of_the_universe). If there is a little deviation from the ...
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1answer
60 views

Did our Universe experience a curvature dominated phase?

So, my question is simple: did our Universe experience a curvature dominated phase? Or, rather, could our Universe have experienced a curvature dominated phase? This seems quite shruggish, at first ...
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1answer
104 views

Why quantum fluctuation existed before big bang?

I read somewhere that quantum fluctuation can give rise to a big bang and thus the creation of a universe which we know today, where do these quantum fluctuations come from if space is only created ...
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2answers
73 views

Is there a proof that space expanding produces observers at all points that see what we see?

I know that galaxies are moving away from us, and so can see that it's intuitive that if space was expanding, then the astronomical observations from Earth would be the same as at all other points in ...
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399 views

Light takes too long to get here

When looking at the night sky, we see lots of stars. Several places tell you that the light of those stars has traveled to many light years to reach Earth and there may be others where light has not ...
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3answers
421 views

How/why can the cosmic background radiation measurements tell us anything about the curvature of the universe?

So I've read the Wikipedia articles on WMAP and CMB in an attempt to try to understand how scientists are able to deduce the curvature of the universe from the measurements of the CMB. The Wiki ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
63 views

Why is there a matter-dark matter asymmetry?

It is said generally that nature is symmetric. For example if light behaves as both a particle and a wave, then matter must also do so, which turns out to be true. But we find that the Universe ...
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2answers
7k 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 4-...
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1answer
106 views

Since space expands (and can theoretically contract) faster than light, does that mean that in a big crunch information could travel FTL?

Layperson here. In a theoretical big crunch with space contracting faster than the speed of light, would information be travelling faster than speed of light? Because the points A and B themselves ...
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1answer
338 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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2answers
429 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 ...
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1answer
77 views

Does the Universe spin? [duplicate]

Maybe it's a stupid question, so I will delete it if it will receive too many down votes but.. I was wondering about the Universe, and the fact that We know it's expanding; We don't know if it has ...
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5answers
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If everything is relative to each other in this universe, why do we keep the Sun to be the reference point?

and study the solar system and universe relative to it and why not relative to the Earth?
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5answers
231 views

Is the universe expanding at a speed of almost $2c$?

I've been told nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Therefore, from my vantage point the diameter of the universe is increasing at a rate of $2c$. Are there any flaws in my thinking?
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3answers
185 views

Faster than light galaxies/clusters?

A few years ago in an astronomy course, we calculated some (transverse?) velocity of a moving object and got super luminal results. The answer was apparent and not physical velocity of the object. ...
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1answer
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What happens when a photon reaches the “edge” of the universe? [duplicate]

As I understand it, there are several models for what the universe could look like from the “outside”. I don’t know if any of these are outdated, so if they are please tell me if they are. Expanding ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
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Can we see ALL of the observable universe?

Reading this wiki page about the observable universe, (and visible universe), implies that we humans, on this rock in the milkyway are seeing a static representation of the universe that is still ...
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203 views

can we have a parallel earth made of dark matter?

In the sense that the two planets move together and has intelligent beings with their own forces and particles, but they just do not interact with (are invisible to) us?
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3answers
602 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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3answers
3k views

Value of the Hubble parameter over time

There is something I don't understand about the Hubble parameter $H$, as it seems to clump two concepts together that I can't quite unify in my head. On the one side, we have $$V = D H$$ which means ...
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4answers
371 views

Virtual Particles real? Virtual particles create a universe?

I am reading the book of Lawrence Krauss "A universe out of nothing", where he explained that the vacuum is not empty. It is a boiling brew of virtual particles that come out of their existence. And ...
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1answer
85 views

Dark Civilizations? [duplicate]

I just read that maybe the dark matter could have dark forces. Hence, I wonder: dark atoms, dark galaxies, dark intelligent beings. Basically a parallel, interpenetrating universe. Is this plausible?...
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1answer
259 views

Infinite number of galaxies?

I understand that the current estimate for the number of galaxies in the observable universe is about 100-200 billion. Is there anything in our understanding of physics and the evolution of the ...
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4answers
769 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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5answers
193 views

Could there be more universes?

In the documentary: "Curiosity - Did God Create the Universe (on YouTube)", theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking states that time did not exist before the big bang. The first ...