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It is common knowledge that the universe is 13.8 ± 0.037 billion years - but how was this calculated?

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  • $\begingroup$ It's a best fit to the $\Lambda$-CDM model, which includes a cosmological constant and cold dark matter. If the model is wrong, the number may be wrong. However, since the physics during all but the very first fractions of a second is fairly well understood (maybe with exception of neutrino masses and possible dark matter decay), the number won't change significantly if we should discover new high energy physics. I would venture to guess that the remaining uncertainty after that is mostly in the validity of general relativity. $\endgroup$
    – CuriousOne
    Dec 17 '14 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ This should not have been closed as a duplicate. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Mar 1 '17 at 18:08