Is the expansion of the space between the galaxies caused by stretching of existing space or the creation of new space?

The fact that the energy content remains constant, and is therefore not being diluted, would suggest to me that it is not being stretched and therefore must be the result of the creation of additional space.

If this is so, are there any theories as to how space is created.


marked as duplicate by John Rennie, Neuneck, bobie, Martin, Pranav Hosangadi Jan 7 '15 at 11:58

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  • $\begingroup$ The energy doesn't remain the same. As for the "creation" of "new" space... how do you define that, exactly? Can you get me a cubic foot of "new" space that was created since yesterday? If not, what's the rational distinction between new and old? $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jan 7 '15 at 0:35

The unit of the Hubble constant is 1/sec. and it is determining the percentage by which space is expanding each second. The Hubble constant is not constant in time, for this reason it is called also Hubble parameter.

For getting an idea of space expansion you have to imagine a cubic grid throughout the whole space where the grid/ the number of cubes does not change, but each cube is increasing in size. It is similar to a sort of "stretching" of the size of the cubes.

Space includes dark energy whose energy density is constant and does not dilute. This is why in an advanced stage the universe is/ will be dominated by dark energy, which is prevailing/ will prevail over matter and radiation.

Local assemblies of objects in space such as galaxies are practically not concerned by space expansion because their gravitational forces are holding them together even if space is expanding

Space expansion has been observed in the form of redshifting of radiation from very far objects, but at my knowledge there is no current theory explaining how space is created.

  • $\begingroup$ This article en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy specifically states that dark energy does not get diluted $\endgroup$ – Frank Martin Jan 7 '15 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ That's right. I corrected the error in my answer. $\endgroup$ – Moonraker Jan 8 '15 at 11:53

There's not really a distinction between the two - since space isn't really a "thing", then "stretching" one meter into two is the same as creating a meter and inserting it.

An important note is that it's not as if everything is getting stretched as the universe expands, because if it was then the "rulers" with which we measure space would expand equally and we could therefore not detect an expansion. So in that sense perhaps new space being created makes more semantic sense.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Actually the forces holding the ruler together would prevent it from expanding. $\endgroup$ – Constandinos Damalas Jan 7 '15 at 1:07
  • $\begingroup$ @PhotonicBoom try reading what I wrote. $\endgroup$ – Señor O Jan 7 '15 at 16:07

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