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Questions tagged [space-expansion]

Space expansion is a cosmological phenomenon wherein the proper distance between two spatial points for a given inertial reference frame increases from one moment of time to another. That is, space itself expands; the added distance is not due to relative motion of points or objects.

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Why does space expansion not expand matter?

I have looked at other questions on this site (e.g. "why does space expansion affect matter") but can't find the answer I am looking for. So here is my question: One often hears talk of space ...
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Why isn't an infinite, flat, nonexpanding universe filled with a uniform matter distribution a solution to Einstein's equation?

In Newtonian gravity, an infinite volume filled with a uniform distribution of mass would be in perfect equilibrium. At every point, the gravitational forces contributed by masses in one direction ...
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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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Can space expand with unlimited speed?

According to this article on the European Space Agency web site just after the Big Bang and before inflation the currently observable universe was the size of a coin. One millionth of a second later ...
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How did the universe shift from “dark matter dominated” to “dark energy dominated”?

In order to get dark energy to dominate, wouldn't you first need another form of energy to push the expansion until dark energy could dominate? Otherwise I don't understand how the universe could ...
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If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into? [closed]

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 be ...
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Redshifting of Light and the expansion of the universe

So I have learned in class that light can get red-shifted as it travels through space. As I understand it, space itself expands and stretches out the wavelength of the light. This results in the light ...
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Why haven't we seen the big bang?

The Andromeda galaxy is 2,538,000 light years away, so if we view Andromeda from a telescope, we see Andromeda how it was 2,538,000 years ago. Now the diameter of the visible universe is 92 billion ...
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How can the universe expand if there is gravitation?

We live in an expanding universe - so I'm told. But how can that be possible? Everything imaginable is attracted by a bigger thing. So, why can't gravitation stop the expansion of the universe? I know ...
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What is the theoretical limit for farthest we can see back in time and distance?

13.2 billion years ago the universe was rather small, having started only half a billion years ago. Today, with the help of Hubble Space Telescope, we are able to capture the light of galaxies emitted ...
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Given that matter cannot escape a black hole, how did the big bang produce the universe we see today?

Extrapolation of the expansion of the Universe backwards in time using general relativity yields an infinite density and temperature at a finite time in the past. If the matter contained within our ...
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What experiments, other than Hubble Expansion, support the Dark Energy theory?

Dark energy is introduced as a constant inside Einstein's equations. Its primary purpose, from what I understand, is to make Einstein's equations compatible with the accelerating expansion of the ...
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Redshifted Photon Energy

A photon emitted from a receding source (Doppler redshift) has less energy when detected at an observer's location. Please explain the energy loss from the perspective of energy conservation.
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Why did the universe not collapse to a black hole shortly after the big bang?

Wasn't the density of the universe at the moment after the Big Bang so great as to create a black hole? If the answer is that the universe/space-time can expand anyway what does it imply about what ...
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Hubble's law and conservation of energy

If all distances are constantly increasing, as Hubble's law say, then lots of potential energies of form ~$\frac{1}{r}$ changes, so how is the total energy of the Universe conserved with Hubble's ...
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2answers
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Did the big bang create an infinite number of photons?

We will always be able to see the cosmic microwave background (CMB) at about [the age of the universe] light years away. Always. Does that mean that infinite photons were created at that time? If ...
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How does the Hubble parameter change with the age of the universe?

How does the Hubble parameter change with the age of the universe? This question was posted recently, and I had almost finished writing an answer when the question was deleted. Since it's a shame to ...
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2answers
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According to Hubble's Law, how can the expansion of the Universe be accelerating?

Scientists today think the expansion of the universe is accelerating. According to Hubble's law, objects further away are moving faster than objects closer to us. The further away an object is, the ...
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As the universe ages, will we see more stars or less?

After a very long time will we see more stars (due to the fact that more light is get to us) or less stars (as the universe expends and light have to pass larger distance)? In general, can stellar ...
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Why do we interpret the accelerated expansion of the universe as the proof for the existence of dark energy?

Why do we interpret the accelerated expansion of the universe as the proof for the existence of dark energy? The accelerated expansion only tells us that the Einstein field equation must contain a ...
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How far away must a galaxy be for its light never to reach us due to the expansion of the universe?

My understanding is that at the present rate of expansion of the universe some galaxies are growing more distant from us at such a rate that light from them will never reach us. My question is how far ...
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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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Is the Cosmological Constant locally zero?

On earth and in our solar system we do not notice any effects of a non-zero cosmological constant. The accelerating expansion of the universe was only detected by observing the most distant supernovae....
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Does the amount of gravitational potential energy in the universe increase as it expands?

It seems to me that extra gravitational potential energy is created as the universe expands and the distance between massive objects such as galaxy clusters increases; this implies that energy is not ...
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3answers
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Does the radius of the Universe correspond to its total entropy?

I heard a claim that due to holographic principle, the surface area of the cosmic horizon corresponds to the universe's total entropy. As such the initial state had zero surface area and later ...
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What evidence do we have that CMB is the result of the Big bang?

I got the main picture repeated over and over again about why if there's a Big bang we indeed should see the CMB with this feature. In this question I'm asking something different: what independent ...
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2answers
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How is it possible the universe expanded faster than the speed of light during inflation? [duplicate]

In a documentary written in collaboration with Stephen Hawking, the narrator (supposedly Stephen Hawkings) says that by the time the cosmos was 10 minutes old, it had already expanded thousands of ...
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If space is “expanding” in itself - why then is there redshift?

The "kid's" way of understanding the expanding universe is that: "space" is totally "ordinary", and all the galaxies are expanding through it (like an explosion). Of course, that's wrong. The usual ...
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1answer
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Equation of state of cosmic strings and branes

I'm sure these are basic ideas covered in string cosmology or advanced GR, but I've done very little string theory, so I hope you will forgive some elementary questions. I'm just trying to fit some ...
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2answers
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What does it mean that the universe is “infinite”?

This question is about cosmology and general relativity. I understand the difference between the universe and the observable universe. What I am not really clear about is what is meant when I read ...
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3answers
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Will the night sky eventually be bright?

I have read that the night sky should have been bright because every spot should end up pointing to a star in the infinite universe but this is not the case because the universe is expanding. I am ...
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1answer
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As the universe expands, the wavelengths of photons are stretched, and energy is lost. What about electrons?

Will electrons, and other particles, also loose energy as they travel through the cosmos? They have wavelengths. Do they get "stretched"? My guess is that the EM force, somehow, counteracts this ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Height Issues of the Time Traveler [duplicate]

A person from the year 2250 goes back in time. They go back 60 Million years, because they want to observe dinosaurs. Imagine their surprise when they see T-Rex's running around like little chickens!...
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3answers
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How can the diameter of the universe be so big, if nothing can go faster than light? [duplicate]

The following are facts of the prevailing cosmological model. The age of the universe is about 13.772 billion years. Nothing with mass can exceed the speed of light. The diameter of the observable ...
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6answers
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How Does Hubble's Expansion Affect Two Rope-Tied Galaxies?

Suppose we have two galaxies that are sufficiently far apart so that the distance between them increases due to Hubble's expansion. If I were to connect these two galaxies with a rope, would there be ...
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2answers
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Will entropy continue to increase even if the universe begins to contract?

If the universe is heading for a big crunch, when the universe starts to collapse will entropy decrease and the arrow of time consequently reverse or not? I'm interested in the explanations, not just ...
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3answers
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Space is expanding so what is time doing? [duplicate]

Space is expanding and as we know space and time are intrinsically linked to be now known as spacetime. What is happening to time during expansion? Is there more time, longer time or is the time part ...
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1answer
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FLRW cosmology with a scalar field : what are the phase-space variables?

I'm studying a Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (FLRW) cosmology model with a simple scalar field as source (no dust-like matter, no radiation, no cosmological constant). For the moment, the field ...
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5answers
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Can we use redshift measurements to determine absolute velocity?

Here's a thought experiment: suppose I'm in a large box in space without windows or sensors, and I fire a laser in 6 different directions and measure the redshift along each direction. Could that data ...
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2answers
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How is dark energy consistent with conservation of mass and energy?

I initially thought that dark energy must in some way violate conservation of mass and energy since the component of the energy density of space that comes from dark energy is constant, and space is ...
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2answers
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What does a galaxy orbit?

Moons orbit planets, planets orbit stars, and stars orbit the center of a galaxy. So, my question is what does a galaxy orbit? The center of universe? (I know that the universe has no center)
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1answer
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How do scientists calculate the percentage of dark energy in the universe?

I can understand how the percentage of dark matter compared to ordinary matter is calculated, because the amount of dark matter has a clear gravitational effect on the ordinary matter in a Galaxy. ...
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2answers
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Does dark energy have gravity?

So I keep running into this idea on the Internet that only mass has gravity, but isn't mass simply contained energy? Energy bounces around, or travels at the speed of light, because it is not in the ...
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1answer
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Gravitationally bound systems in an expanding universe

This isn't yet a complete question; rather, I'm looking for a qual-level question and answer describing a gravitationally bound system in an expanding universe. Since it's qual level, this needs a ...
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5answers
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Can entropy of Universe be constant?

If I understand entropy correctly, then for example two objects orbiting a centre of mass have lower entropy than when said objects eventually crash into each other and form a new one. So let's say ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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If photons don't “experience” time, how do they account for their gradual change in wavelength?

It is often said that photons do not experience time. From what I've read, this is because that when travelling at the speed of light, space is contracted to infinity, so while there is no time to ...
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4answers
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Misconceptions about the universe - Hubble Sphere

I recently watched Veritasium's (excellent) video "Misconceptions about the Universe". However, he said something (at 2min 25s) which I think is wrong. Can somebody please clarify this one way or the ...
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A Cosmological horizon at the Hubble radius?

I have calculated that if one extends a rigid ruler into space by a fixed proper distance $D$ then a clock at the end of the ruler, running on proper time $\tau$, will run more slowly than time $t$ at ...