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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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286 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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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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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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What coordinate system is used to describe planets positions in the universe?

How are planets positions described in the space and in respect to what? For example is Sun the origo and right now at this moment Earth has [coord_X, coord_Y, coord_Z]? or maybe [lng, lat]? ...
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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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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 ...
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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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If randomness doesn't exist, how come the universe isn't a perfect sphere with predictable distribution of matter?

I'm presuming that the scientific community pretty much agrees that randomness doesn't exits, and that everything has a cause. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I've heard of quantum mechanics, but as ...
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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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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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814 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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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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756 views

Experimental evidence for parallel universes

My idea of physics is that it is a collection of mathematical laws relating observables. And that one can perform alot of mathematical derivations on these laws to produce new laws between ...
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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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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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426 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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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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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 ...
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294 views

Is there an exact formal definition of the Universe?

I've read several articles about observable Universe, Universe and Hubble volume, including Wikipedia article and references on it, and I wondered: Is there a formal, rigorous definition in physics of ...
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142 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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220 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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143 views

What would happen to the universe if dark energy started “disappearing”?

Terribly naive question, I know. Obviously, not simply "disappearing", but if it could, theoretically, be absorbed or "used" somehow, what would happen to the universe? Would it stop expanding, would ...
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193 views

How far can something travel in a straight line?

Suppose you have an object some distance from you and moving at a velocity different to the Hubble velocity you'd expect at that point. How does the motion of this object change with time? Does it ...
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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 ...
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Where does the wave function of the universe live? Please describe its home

Where does the wave function of the universe live? Please describe its home. I think this is the Hilbert space of the universe. (Greater or lesser, depending on which church you belong to.) Or maybe ...
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691 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 ...
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279 views

Expanding universe

If we know the universe is expanding in whatever direction we look, can't we reasonably estimate where the 'center' of the Universe is? Is the rate of expansions in all directions the same?
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Accelerating expansion of the universe: so?

Please help me out, I’m missing something. We know that, right now, space is expanding at roughly 73km/s/Mpc. This means: two points in space 1Mpc away from each other “move” 73 km farther away ...
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Open Big Bang-less universe?

This came up in discussion around a class I'm taking. For a Universe with $\Lambda$ and matter contributions to energy density (and implicitly curvature, but no radiation), can you have a universe ...
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Is “A Brief History of Time” still up to date?

I have recently found my copy of Hawkings' A Brief History of Time which I have never finished. This time I'm determined to read it all the way through. However, the book is now almost 25 years old. ...
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Supermassive black holes with the density of the Universe

This question was inspired by the answer to the question "If the universe were compressed into a super massive black hole, how big would it be" Assume that we have a matter with a uniform density ...
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When they say the universe was the size of a baseball about a billion billion billion billionth of a second

after the big bang. Does that means the observable universe was the size of a baseball, or does it mean the entire universe? I'm guessing it means the observable universe - as we really don't ...
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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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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 ...
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214 views

Very basic question about empty universe

I'm trying to understand the empty universe model. My first textbook (which doesn't cover the empty universe) gives the Friedmann equation as $$\left[\frac{1}{R}\frac{dR}{dt}\right]^{2}=\frac{8\pi ...
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Gamma Ray Bubble at the center of our galaxy seen by Fermi Telescope

How could we measure high energy photons, whithout measuring them ? I can't understand how we can "see" those Gamma Ray Bubbles if they are not reaching here In this graph from Nasa you can see ...
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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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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 ...
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Could false vacuums potentially describe, in part, the Big Bang?

I've just read about something I had never of before, false vacuums. After reading a couple descriptions of what a drop (or rather, a vacuum metastability event) would imply, I thought of the Big ...
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Is relativity necessary for the existence of life?

If the universe didn't have the relativity principle, would it be able to support life? Life consists of very complicated organisms. The operation of these organisms depends on the laws of physics. ...