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Universe Age Expansion of the universe VideoHow Do We Know the Age of the Universe?
The most accurate determinations of the Hubble parameter H 0 come from Type Ia supernovae. Combining these measurements leads to the generally accepted value for the age of the universe quoted above.
The cosmological constant makes the universe "older" for fixed values of the other parameters. This is significant, since before the cosmological constant became generally accepted, the Big Bang model had difficulty explaining why globular clusters in the Milky Way appeared to be far older than the age of the universe as calculated from the Hubble parameter and a matter-only universe.
NASA 's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe WMAP project's nine-year data release in estimated the age of the universe to be However, this age is based on the assumption that the project's underlying model is correct; other methods of estimating the age of the universe could give different ages.
Assuming an extra background of relativistic particles, for example, can enlarge the error bars of the WMAP constraint by one order of magnitude. This measurement is made by using the location of the first acoustic peak in the microwave background power spectrum to determine the size of the decoupling surface size of the universe at the time of recombination.
The light travel time to this surface depending on the geometry used yields a reliable age for the universe.
Assuming the validity of the models used to determine this age, the residual accuracy yields a margin of error near one percent.
In , the Planck Collaboration estimated the age of the universe to be By combining the Planck data with external data, the best combined estimate of the age of the universe is Calculating the age of the universe is accurate only if the assumptions built into the models being used to estimate it are also accurate.
This is referred to as strong priors and essentially involves stripping the potential errors in other parts of the model to render the accuracy of actual observational data directly into the concluded result.
Although this is not a valid procedure in all contexts as noted in the accompanying caveat: "based on the fact we have assumed the underlying model we used is correct" [ citation needed ] , the age given is thus accurate to the specified error since this error represents the error in the instrument used to gather the raw data input into the model.
The age of the universe based on the best fit to Planck data alone is This number represents an accurate "direct" measurement of the age of the universe other methods typically involve Hubble's law and the age of the oldest stars in globular clusters, etc.
It is possible to use different methods for determining the same parameter in this case — the age of the universe and arrive at different answers with no overlap in the "errors".
To best avoid the problem, it is common to show two sets of uncertainties; one related to the actual measurement and the other related to the systematic errors of the model being used.
An important component to the analysis of data used to determine the age of the universe e. In the 18th century, the concept that the age of the Earth was millions, if not billions, of years began to appear.
However, most scientists throughout the 19th century and into the first decades of the 20th century presumed that the universe itself was Steady State and eternal, possibly with stars coming and going but no changes occurring at the largest scale known at the time.
The first scientific theories indicating that the age of the universe might be finite were the studies of thermodynamics , formalized in the midth century.
The concept of entropy dictates that if the universe or any other closed system were infinitely old, then everything inside would be at the same temperature, and thus there would be no stars and no life.
No scientific explanation for this contradiction was put forth at the time. However, the Penrose—Hawking singularity theorems show that a singularity should exist for very general conditions.
Hence, according to Einstein's field equations, R grew rapidly from an unimaginably hot, dense state that existed immediately following this singularity when R had a small, finite value ; this is the essence of the Big Bang model of the universe.
Understanding the singularity of the Big Bang likely requires a quantum theory of gravity , which has not yet been formulated. Third, the curvature index k determines the sign of the mean spatial curvature of spacetime  averaged over sufficiently large length scales greater than about a billion light-years.
Conversely, if k is zero or negative, the universe has an infinite volume. By analogy, an infinite plane has zero curvature but infinite area, whereas an infinite cylinder is finite in one direction and a torus is finite in both.
A toroidal universe could behave like a normal universe with periodic boundary conditions. Some speculative theories have proposed that our universe is but one of a set of disconnected universes, collectively denoted as the multiverse , challenging or enhancing more limited definitions of the universe.
Max Tegmark developed a four-part classification scheme for the different types of multiverses that scientists have suggested in response to various Physics problems.
An example of such multiverses is the one resulting from the chaotic inflation model of the early universe. In this interpretation, parallel worlds are generated in a manner similar to quantum superposition and decoherence , with all states of the wave functions being realized in separate worlds.
Effectively, in the many-worlds interpretation the multiverse evolves as a universal wavefunction. If the Big Bang that created our multiverse created an ensemble of multiverses, the wave function of the ensemble would be entangled in this sense.
The least controversial, but still highly disputed, category of multiverse in Tegmark's scheme is Level I. The multiverses of this level are composed by distant spacetime events "in our own universe".
Tegmark and others  have argued that, if space is infinite, or sufficiently large and uniform, identical instances of the history of Earth's entire Hubble volume occur every so often, simply by chance.
Tegmark calculated that our nearest so-called doppelgänger , is 10 10 metres away from us a double exponential function larger than a googolplex.
It is possible to conceive of disconnected spacetimes, each existing but unable to interact with one another. The entire collection of these separate spacetimes is denoted as the multiverse.
Historically, there have been many ideas of the cosmos cosmologies and its origin cosmogonies. Theories of an impersonal universe governed by physical laws were first proposed by the Greeks and Indians.
The modern era of cosmology began with Albert Einstein 's general theory of relativity , which made it possible to quantitatively predict the origin, evolution, and conclusion of the universe as a whole.
Most modern, accepted theories of cosmology are based on general relativity and, more specifically, the predicted Big Bang. Many cultures have stories describing the origin of the world and universe.
Cultures generally regard these stories as having some truth. There are however many differing beliefs in how these stories apply amongst those believing in a supernatural origin, ranging from a god directly creating the universe as it is now to a god just setting the "wheels in motion" for example via mechanisms such as the big bang and evolution.
Ethnologists and anthropologists who study myths have developed various classification schemes for the various themes that appear in creation stories.
In related stories, the universe is created by a single entity emanating or producing something by him- or herself, as in the Tibetan Buddhism concept of Adi-Buddha , the ancient Greek story of Gaia Mother Earth , the Aztec goddess Coatlicue myth, the ancient Egyptian god Atum story, and the Judeo-Christian Genesis creation narrative in which the Abrahamic God created the universe.
In another type of story, the universe is created from the union of male and female deities, as in the Maori story of Rangi and Papa.
In other stories, the universe is created by crafting it from pre-existing materials, such as the corpse of a dead god—as from Tiamat in the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish or from the giant Ymir in Norse mythology —or from chaotic materials, as in Izanagi and Izanami in Japanese mythology.
In other stories, the universe emanates from fundamental principles, such as Brahman and Prakrti , the creation myth of the Serers ,  or the yin and yang of the Tao.
The pre-Socratic Greek philosophers and Indian philosophers developed some of the earliest philosophical concepts of the universe.
In particular, they noted the ability of matter to change forms e. The first to do so was Thales , who proposed this material to be water.
Thales' student, Anaximander , proposed that everything came from the limitless apeiron. Anaximenes proposed the primordial material to be air on account of its perceived attractive and repulsive qualities that cause the arche to condense or dissociate into different forms.
Anaxagoras proposed the principle of Nous Mind , while Heraclitus proposed fire and spoke of logos. Empedocles proposed the elements to be earth, water, air and fire.
His four-element model became very popular. Like Pythagoras , Plato believed that all things were composed of number , with Empedocles' elements taking the form of the Platonic solids.
Democritus , and later philosophers—most notably Leucippus —proposed that the universe is composed of indivisible atoms moving through a void vacuum , although Aristotle did not believe that to be feasible because air, like water, offers resistance to motion.
Air will immediately rush in to fill a void, and moreover, without resistance, it would do so indefinitely fast. Although Heraclitus argued for eternal change, his contemporary Parmenides made the radical suggestion that all change is an illusion, that the true underlying reality is eternally unchanging and of a single nature.
Parmenides' idea seemed implausible to many Greeks, but his student Zeno of Elea challenged them with several famous paradoxes.
Aristotle responded to these paradoxes by developing the notion of a potential countable infinity, as well as the infinitely divisible continuum.
Unlike the eternal and unchanging cycles of time, he believed that the world is bounded by the celestial spheres and that cumulative stellar magnitude is only finitely multiplicative.
The Indian philosopher Kanada , founder of the Vaisheshika school, developed a notion of atomism and proposed that light and heat were varieties of the same substance.
They denied the existence of substantial matter and proposed that movement consisted of momentary flashes of a stream of energy.
The notion of temporal finitism was inspired by the doctrine of creation shared by the three Abrahamic religions : Judaism , Christianity and Islam.
The Christian philosopher , John Philoponus , presented the philosophical arguments against the ancient Greek notion of an infinite past and future.
Philoponus' arguments against an infinite past were used by the early Muslim philosopher , Al-Kindi Alkindus ; the Jewish philosopher , Saadia Gaon Saadia ben Joseph ; and the Muslim theologian , Al-Ghazali Algazel.
Astronomical models of the universe were proposed soon after astronomy began with the Babylonian astronomers , who viewed the universe as a flat disk floating in the ocean, and this forms the premise for early Greek maps like those of Anaximander and Hecataeus of Miletus.
Later Greek philosophers, observing the motions of the heavenly bodies, were concerned with developing models of the universe-based more profoundly on empirical evidence.
The first coherent model was proposed by Eudoxus of Cnidos. According to Aristotle's physical interpretation of the model, celestial spheres eternally rotate with uniform motion around a stationary Earth.
Normal matter is entirely contained within the terrestrial sphere. De Mundo composed before BC or between and BC , stated, "Five elements, situated in spheres in five regions, the less being in each case surrounded by the greater—namely, earth surrounded by water, water by air, air by fire, and fire by ether—make up the whole universe".
This model was also refined by Callippus and after concentric spheres were abandoned, it was brought into nearly perfect agreement with astronomical observations by Ptolemy.
The success of such a model is largely due to the mathematical fact that any function such as the position of a planet can be decomposed into a set of circular functions the Fourier modes.
Other Greek scientists, such as the Pythagorean philosopher Philolaus , postulated according to Stobaeus account that at the center of the universe was a "central fire" around which the Earth , Sun , Moon and planets revolved in uniform circular motion.
The Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos was the first known individual to propose a heliocentric model of the universe. Though the original text has been lost, a reference in Archimedes ' book The Sand Reckoner describes Aristarchus's heliocentric model.
Archimedes wrote:. You, King Gelon, are aware the universe is the name given by most astronomers to the sphere the center of which is the center of the Earth, while its radius is equal to the straight line between the center of the Sun and the center of the Earth.
This is the common account as you have heard from astronomers. But Aristarchus has brought out a book consisting of certain hypotheses, wherein it appears, as a consequence of the assumptions made, that the universe is many times greater than the universe just mentioned.
His hypotheses are that the fixed stars and the Sun remain unmoved, that the Earth revolves about the Sun on the circumference of a circle, the Sun lying in the middle of the orbit, and that the sphere of fixed stars, situated about the same center as the Sun, is so great that the circle in which he supposes the Earth to revolve bears such a proportion to the distance of the fixed stars as the center of the sphere bears to its surface.
Aristarchus thus believed the stars to be very far away, and saw this as the reason why stellar parallax had not been observed, that is, the stars had not been observed to move relative each other as the Earth moved around the Sun.
The stars are in fact much farther away than the distance that was generally assumed in ancient times, which is why stellar parallax is only detectable with precision instruments.
The geocentric model, consistent with planetary parallax, was assumed to be an explanation for the unobservability of the parallel phenomenon, stellar parallax.
The rejection of the heliocentric view was apparently quite strong, as the following passage from Plutarch suggests On the Apparent Face in the Orb of the Moon :.
Cleanthes [a contemporary of Aristarchus and head of the Stoics ] thought it was the duty of the Greeks to indict Aristarchus of Samos on the charge of impiety for putting in motion the Hearth of the Universe [i.
The only other astronomer from antiquity known by name who supported Aristarchus's heliocentric model was Seleucus of Seleucia , a Hellenistic astronomer who lived a century after Aristarchus.
Seleucus' arguments for a heliocentric cosmology were probably related to the phenomenon of tides. The Aristotelian model was accepted in the Western world for roughly two millennia, until Copernicus revived Aristarchus's perspective that the astronomical data could be explained more plausibly if the Earth rotated on its axis and if the Sun were placed at the center of the universe.
In the center rests the Sun. For who would place this lamp of a very beautiful temple in another or better place than this wherefrom it can illuminate everything at the same time?
As noted by Copernicus himself, the notion that the Earth rotates is very old, dating at least to Philolaus c. Roughly a century before Copernicus, the Christian scholar Nicholas of Cusa also proposed that the Earth rotates on its axis in his book, On Learned Ignorance Empirical evidence for the Earth's rotation on its axis, using the phenomenon of comets , was given by Tusi — and Ali Qushji — This cosmology was accepted by Isaac Newton , Christiaan Huygens and later scientists.
In , when the Hooker Telescope was completed, the prevailing view still was that the universe consisted entirely of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Using the Hooker Telescope, Edwin Hubble identified Cepheid variables in several spiral nebulae and in — proved conclusively that Andromeda Nebula and Triangulum among others, were entire galaxies outside our own, thus proving that universe consists of a multitude of galaxies.
The modern era of physical cosmology began in , when Albert Einstein first applied his general theory of relativity to model the structure and dynamics of the universe.
Kanada, founder of the Vaisheshika philosophy, held that the world is composed of atoms as many in kind as the various elements.
The Jains more nearly approximated to Democritus by teaching that all atoms were of the same kind, producing different effects by diverse modes of combinations.
Kanada believed light and heat to be varieties of the same substance; Udayana taught that all heat comes from the Sun; and Vachaspati , like Newton , interpreted light as composed of minute particles emitted by substances and striking the eye.
Movement consists for them of moments, it is a staccato movement, momentary flashes of a stream of energy They are called "qualities" guna-dharma in both systems in the sense of absolute qualities, a kind of atomic, or intra-atomic, energies of which the empirical things are composed.
Both systems, therefore, agree in denying the objective reality of the categories of Substance and Quality, What we call quality is but a particular manifestation of a subtle entity.
To every new unit of quality corresponds a subtle quantum of matter which is called guna , "quality", but represents a subtle substantive entity.
The same applies to early Buddhism where all qualities are substantive From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. All of space and time and their contents.
For other uses, see Universe disambiguation. The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field image shows some of the most remote galaxies visible with present technology, each consisting of billions of stars.
Early universe. BOOMERanG Cosmic Background Explorer COBE Dark Energy Survey Euclid Illustris project Vera C. Rubin Observatory Planck space observatory Sloan Digital Sky Survey SDSS 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey "2dF" UniverseMachine Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe WMAP.
Subject history. Discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation. That discrepancy suggested that a new model for the universe might be needed and sparked concerns that one of the sets of measurements might be incorrect.
The age of the universe also reveals how fast the cosmos is expanding, a number quantified by the Hubble constant. The ACT measurements suggest a Hubble constant of That means an object 1 megaparsec around 3.
This result agrees almost exactly with the previous estimate of This gives us more confidence in measurements of the universe's oldest light.
As ACT continues making observations, astronomers will have an even clearer picture of the CMB and a more exact idea of how long ago the cosmos began.
The ACT team will also scour those observations for signs of physics that doesn't fit the standard cosmological model. Such strange physics could resolve the disagreement between the predictions of the age and expansion rate of the universe arising from the measurements of the CMB and the motions of galaxies.
Explore further. Naess et al. Aiola et al. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission.
The content is provided for information purposes only. In that sense, shifting from a model that relies on anisotropy measures to one that also examines polarization means the whole measurement can get closer to the source.
Now, that enormous pool of data can be compared to that of a major CMB-mapping satellite, Planck, launched by the European Space Agency in Type keyword s to search.
Today's Top Stories. N95 Vs. Sobral was part of a team that identified a bright galaxy with evidence of Population III stars. Early stars aren't the only way to place limits on the age of the universe.
Dense collections of stars known as globular clusters have similar characteristics. The oldest known globular clusters have stars with ages that appear to be between 11 and 14 billion years old.
The wide range comes from problems in pinpointing the distances to the clusters, which affects estimates of brightness and thus mass. If the cluster is farther away than scientists have measured, the stars would be brighter, thus more massive, thus younger than calculated.
The uncertainty still creates a limit to the age of the universe; it must be at least 11 billion years old.
It is possible that the universe has a more complicated shape overall while seeming to possess a different curvature. For instance, the universe could have the shape of a torus, or doughnut.
In the s, astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered the universe was not static. Rather, it was expanding; a find that revealed the universe was apparently born in a Big Bang.
After that, it was long thought the gravity of matter in the universe was certain to slow the expansion of the universe.
Then, in , the Hubble Space Telescope 's observations of very distant supernovae revealed that a long time ago, the universe was expanding more slowly than it is today.
In other words, the expansion of the universe was not slowing due to gravity, but instead inexplicably was accelerating. The name for the unknown force driving this accelerating expansion is dark energy, and it remains one of the greatest mysteries in science.
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