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12
votes
1answer
182 views

How exactly does inflation convert random gravity fluctuations into coherent gravitational waves?

In the course of this very enjoyable press announcement, it is mentioned that inflation can create gravity waves by amplifying gravity fluctuations. I do not properly understand this statement. I ...
11
votes
1answer
126 views

Future of CMB observations: How will our knowledge of the early universe change?

The Planck satellite has been presented and awaited for a long time as the ultimate experiments for measuring temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) over the full sky. One ...
11
votes
1answer
197 views

Inflation cosmology: slow-roll inflation versus tunneling between two vacua

In slow-roll inflation models, the early inflation of the universe is driven by the flat non-zero part of the inflaton potential, and it ends as the ball rolls down the cliff and the potential energy ...
6
votes
4answers
99 views

Can it be inferred that our cosmological horizon has increased over time?

If I am right, we can see only those stars that lie within our cosmological horizon, and there may or may not be any stars beyond that. Given last 150 years of using telescopes, and since then our ...
6
votes
1answer
85 views

How can the equation of state for cosmic strings and domain walls be derived?

In this article which nicely explains why it is really the quantity $\rho + 3p$ which is relevant to determine if the expansion of the universe is accelerating or decelerating by making use of the for ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

What was the age of the universe when the average density was one atmosphere?

How long did it take after the Big Bang for the average density of the universe to reach one Earth atmosphere at sea level? How about the density of water? Is there a chart of densities that relate to ...
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Why do we have the cosmological constant?

Since the cosmological constant is not required to explain that the universe seem to be expanding, why do we have it? What other factors cause us to have that constant? Background: Without the ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Dark Energy Expansion

The new Cosmos extra features mentions that at about 6,771,500,000 years ago the universe began an accelerated expansion. How do we know this? What evidence do we have for this renewed and accelerated ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

What are the concrete technical arguments supporting the idea that the wave function of the universe can be written as partition function?

In this talk, the not yet settled down idea that the wave function of the universe could potentially be written as the partition function of a scale invariant statistical field theory is mentioned: ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Expansion again: where does the energy come from?

Is it sensible to ask for the overall increase in potential energy when looking at the baryonic mass in the universe moving away from each other, that is, moving against the direction of the force ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Is dark energy constant?

Does the "amount" of dark energy in the universe change over time, or is it constant? The dark energy I am asking about is the rate of acceleration of the universe.
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Our universe the surface of a 4-dimensional sphere?

The cosmic microwave background that we observe uniformly around us is usually explained by assuming that our universe is the surface of a four dimensional sphere. That way the uniformity makes sense ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

What is the explanation for rapid inflation just after the big bang?

I often hear about cosmic inflation occurring rapidly after the Big Bang, but have never came across any explanation for it. What supposedly caused this inflationary period in the early universe? ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Does the holographic principle contradict eternal inflation?

As it is for example explained here, Andrei Linde's chaotic inflation is among the potential winners or survivors of the spring cleaning induced by the potential detection of primoridal gravitational ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

A black “superhole” possibility?

When matter crosses the event horizon, it is easy to imagine that matter is torn apart into their individual components by tidal wave effects. Atoms would be ripped apart eventually. At one time, the ...