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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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 ...
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1answer
505 views

Superluminal expansion of the early universe how is this possible?

Is this a postulate? I get the expansion of the universe, the addition of discrete bits of space time between me and a distant galaxy, until very distant parts of the universe are moving relative to ...
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2answers
543 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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5answers
474 views

Is there a universal rest frame of reference?

I am still struggling with C being a constant and what that implies. So can an experiment be done to find the resting state for the universe? Take a device with an observer and a light source and two ...
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2answers
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Entering a black hole, jumping into another universe---with questions

I'm quite familiar with SR, but I have very limited understanding in GR, singularities, and black holes. My friend, which is well-read and is interested in general physics, said that we can "jump" ...
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5answers
153 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 ...
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1answer
166 views

What about the other side of the Black Hole

I was wondering if on the recieving end of a black hole can you see the photons being sucked in
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1k views

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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1answer
170 views

Is it possible that portions of the universe are made of antimatter? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Experimental observation of matter/antimatter in the universe I've heard a bit about the antimatter, matter inbalance. But I don't understand how it has been decided ...
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2answers
726 views

Do we have an idea about the amount of matter in the universe?

Do we consider the amount of matter in the universe to be "infinite"? Or do we have an idea about "how much" there is?
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3answers
580 views

Does (it make sense to say that ) the universe has a center?

I was reading this page: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/oct/23/brian-cox-jeff-forshaw-answers and I found this sentence by Brian Cox: That seems to imply that everything is flying away ...
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5answers
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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 ...
2
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1answer
170 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)?
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988 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 ...
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4answers
687 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 ...
6
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1answer
228 views

Curvature of the Universe imaginary?

If the curvature of the universe is zero, then $$Ω = 1$$ and the Pythagorean Theorem is correct. If instead $$Ω> 1$$ there will be a positive curvature, and if $$Ω <1$$ there will be a negative ...
6
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3answers
822 views

At what speed does our universe expand?

Conceivably it expands with the speed of light. I do not know, but curious, if there is an answer. At what velocity, does our universe expand?
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Why is oxygen the third most abundant element?

I was reading the article Oxygen finally spotted in space today in which it stated Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the cosmos, after hydrogen and helium. Why would oxygen take ...
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1answer
88 views

All significant objects in the universe?

Taking it to the bottom of layman's terms, what would be the shortlist of significant things in the universe? A list I could think of myself would put Energy (at whatever wavelength travelling ...
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5answers
7k views

Stephen Hawking says universe can create itself from nothing, but how exactly?

Stephen Hawking says in his latest book The Grand Design that, Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Is it not circular logic? I mean, how ...
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2answers
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A Fermi-question: Are there more stars than grains of sand?

This claim is pretty popular in the web and obviously cannot be answered by counting grains or stars. Thats what physicists call a Fermi-question. It deals with problems/questions where we dont have ...
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2answers
155 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 ...
9
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3answers
744 views

Is the observable region of the universe within the event horizon of a super-massive black hole?

Observations: I have read that for a free-falling observer within the event horizon of a black hole that all lines of sight will end at the singularity which is black. I also look up and see that ...
7
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4answers
615 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 ...
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6answers
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Why is the universe so organized?

If you think about the Big Bang and the flow of matter in all directions, you would think, how unorganized would this universe be? No matter how long it would take. The idea that matter or most of it ...
8
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1answer
80 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

How can a quasar be 29 billion light-years away from Earth if Big Bang happened only 13.8 billion years ago? [duplicate]

I was reading through the Wikipedia article on Quasars and came across the fact that the most distant Quasar is 29 Billion Light years. This is what the article exactly says The highest redshift ...
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2answers
583 views

Is spacetime simply connected?

As I've stated in a prior question of mine, I am a mathematician with very little knowledge of Physics, and I ask here things I'm curious about/things that will help me learn. This falls into the ...
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5answers
888 views

How is it possible for astronomers to see something 13B light years away?

In a NPR News story from a few years back: "A gamma-ray burst from about 13 billion light years away has become the most distant object in the known universe." I'm a layman when it comes ...
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4answers
378 views

Applying the Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics to astrophysical objects

Quoting Wikipedia: In statistical mechanics, Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics describes the statistical distribution of material particles over various energy states in thermal equilibrium, when the ...
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1answer
2k views

Why it is said that Universe is an isolated system?

I have read in many places "Entropy of an isolated systems never decreases" And as a corollary: "As Universe is an isolated system(I) then its entropy is constantly increasing(II)" I) ...
14
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2answers
134 views

Is there evidence of a larger universe?

While mapping out the position, distance and movement of galaxies and quasars at the limits of the observable universe, have astronomers ever observed the motion of these object due to gravitational ...
6
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2answers
186 views

Is there a consensus on the fate of our universe?

We all know that our universe is inflating from what is known as the Big Bang. However, will our universe continue to inflate at the current rate? Or after reaching a maximum size, will it collapse in ...
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7answers
4k views

Why is the observable universe so big?

The observable universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old. But yet it is 80 billion light years across. Isn't this a contradiction?
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0answers
217 views

Presence Of an Another Universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Experimental evidence for parallel universes Is there an universe similar to ours somewhere else, I mean I had heard from Einsteins theories that,actually when I am ...
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3answers
2k views

What has been proved about the big bang, and what has not?

Ok so the universe is in constant expansion, that has been proven, right? And that means that it was smaller in the past.. But what's the smallest size we can be sure the universe has ever had? I ...
14
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3answers
252 views

What is meant when it is said that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic?

It is sometimes said that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic. What is meant by each of these descriptions? Are they mutually exclusive, or does one require the other? And what implications rise ...
9
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3answers
127 views

Seeing cosmic activity now, really means it happens millions/billions of years ago?

A Recent report about a cosmic burst 3.8 billion light years away. It is written as though it is happening now. However, my question is, if the event is 3.8 billion light years away, doesn't that mean ...
7
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4answers
587 views

Are scientists missing the point with distant cosmic objects, or is it just me?

I was reading this article this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13539914 Scientists have discovered a gamma-ray burst whose light has taken 13.14 billion years to reach Earth. ...
3
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1answer
594 views

Universe Expansion as an absolute time reference

Why we call "constant" to the Hubble constant?, if the universe were really expanding then the Hubble "constant" should change, being variable, smaller and smaller..with "time". Other example/view ...
23
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2answers
3k views

Does the Planck scale imply that spacetime is discrete?

On a quantum scale the smallest unit is the Planck scale, which is a discrete measure. There several question that come to mind: Does that mean that particles can only live in a discrete grid-like ...
7
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2answers
2k views

How can something finite become infinite?

How can the universe become infinite in spatial extent if it started as a singularity, wouldn't it take infinite time to expand into an infinite universe?
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6answers
2k views

How many bits are needed to simulate the universe?

This is not the same as: How many bytes can the observable universe store? The Bekenstein bound tells us how many bits of data can be stored in a space. Using this value, we can determine the ...
5
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2answers
261 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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2answers
445 views

If the Big Bang theory suggests that the Universe is “expanding” then what is it expanding INTO? [duplicate]

I am a software engineer and not an astrophysicist but I want to know if anyone is working on sorting out what exists outside the universe? So what about outside spacetime? what is there? or shall I ...
5
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4answers
992 views

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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6answers
954 views
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If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?

If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into? When the big bang happened where did it occur? When the big bang happened how did it occur? Where did the energy come from? Energy can not ...
5
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1answer
617 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?
4
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2answers
575 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
465 views

Is it possible for one side of the universe to “meet” the other?

I've variously heard the shape of the universe being described as multi-dimensional, like a helix or mobius strip, and super string theorem seems to say there are lots of universes all piled up next ...