<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Gravitational attraction between galaxies is slowing the expansion of the universe, but the amount of slowing down is not known directly. In fact, the cosmological constant can counteract gravity’s effect. As recent measurements indicate, the universe is expanding faster now than in the past—perhaps a “modern inflationary era” in which the dark energy is thought to be causing the expansion of the present-day universe to accelerate. If the expansion rate were affected by gravity alone, we should be able to see that the expansion rate between distant galaxies was once greater than it is now. However, measurements show it was less than now. We can, however, calculate the amount of slowing based on the average density of matter we observe directly. Here we have a definite answer—there is far less visible matter than needed to stop expansion. The critical density     ρ c size 12{ρ rSub { size 8{c} } } {} is defined to be the density needed to just halt universal expansion in a universe with no cosmological constant. It is estimated to be about

ρ c 10 26 kg/m 3 . size 12{ρ rSub { size 8{c} } approx "10" rSup { size 8{ - "26"} } `"kg/m" rSup { size 8{3} } "."} {}

However, this estimate of ρ c size 12{ρ rSub { size 8{c} } } {} is only good to about a factor of two, due to uncertainties in the expansion rate of the universe. The critical density is equivalent to an average of only a few nucleons per cubic meter, remarkably small and indicative of how truly empty intergalactic space is. Luminous matter seems to account for roughly 0 . 5% size 12{0 "." 5%} {} to 2% size 12{2%} {} of the critical density, far less than that needed for closure. Taking into account the amount of dark matter we detect indirectly and all other types of indirectly observed normal matter, there is only 10% size 12{"10"%} {} to 40% size 12{"40"%} {} of what is needed for closure. If we are able to refine the measurements of expansion rates now and in the past, we will have our answer regarding the curvature of space and we will determine a value for the cosmological constant to justify this observation. Finally, the most recent measurements of the CMBR have implications for the cosmological constant, so it is not simply a device concocted for a single purpose.

After the recent experimental discovery of the cosmological constant, most researchers feel that the universe should be just barely open. Since matter can be thought to curve the space around it, we call an open universe negatively curved    . This means that you can in principle travel an unlimited distance in any direction. A universe that is closed is called positively curved    . This means that if you travel far enough in any direction, you will return to your starting point, analogous to circumnavigating the Earth. In between these two is a flat (zero curvature) universe    . The recent discovery of the cosmological constant has shown the universe is very close to flat, and will expand forever. Why do theorists feel the universe is flat? Flatness is a part of the inflationary scenario that helps explain the flatness of the microwave background. In fact, since general relativity implies that matter creates the space in which it exists, there is a special symmetry to a flat universe.

Figure a shows an eye looking toward a rotating spiral galaxy. Light coming from the galaxy arms that are rotating away from the observer is red shifted, and light coming from the galaxy arms that are rotating toward the observer is blue shifted. Figure b shows a graph of star rotation speed versus star radius. From zero radius, the curve increases steeply and peaks near two hundred and fifty kilometers per second at a radius of zero point five arbitrary units. The curve then decreases slightly and progresses to a radius of sixteen arbitrary units with ups and down between two hundred and two hundred and twenty five kilometers per second. Figure c shows an image of multiple galaxies and other objects against a black background. In the center of the image is a roughly circular purple haze, on the left and right of which are two slightly smaller and roughly circular blue haze regions.
Evidence for dark matter: (a) We can measure the velocities of stars relative to their galaxies by observing the Doppler shift in emitted light, usually using the hydrogen spectrum. These measurements indicate the rotation of a spiral galaxy. (b) A graph of velocity versus distance from the galactic center shows that the velocity does not decrease as it would if the matter were concentrated in luminous stars. The flatness of the curve implies a massive galactic halo of dark matter extending beyond the visible stars. (c) This is a computer-generated image of X rays from a galactic cluster. The X rays indicate the presence of otherwise unseen hot clouds of ionized gas in the regions of space previously considered more empty. (credit: NASA, ESA, CXC, M. Bradac (University of California, Santa Barbara), and S. Allen (Stanford University))

Questions & Answers

the meaning of phrase in physics
Chovwe Reply
is the meaning of phrase in physics
Chovwe
write an expression for a plane progressive wave moving from left to right along x axis and having amplitude 0.02m, frequency of 650Hz and speed if 680ms-¹
Gabriel Reply
how does a model differ from a theory
Friday Reply
what is vector quantity
Ridwan Reply
Vector quality have both direction and magnitude, such as Force, displacement, acceleration and etc.
Besmellah
Is the force attractive or repulsive between the hot and neutral lines hung from power poles? Why?
Jack Reply
what's electromagnetic induction
Chinaza Reply
electromagnetic induction is a process in which conductor is put in a particular position and magnetic field keeps varying.
Lukman
wow great
Salaudeen
what is mutual induction?
je
mutual induction can be define as the current flowing in one coil that induces a voltage in an adjacent coil.
Johnson
how to undergo polarization
Ajayi Reply
show that a particle moving under the influence of an attractive force mu/y³ towards the axis x. show that if it be projected from the point (0,k) with the component velocities U and V parallel to the axis of x and y, it will not strike the axis of x unless u>v²k² and distance uk²/√u-vk as origin
Gabriel Reply
show that a particle moving under the influence of an attractive force mu/y^3 towards the axis x. show that if it be projected from the point (0,k) with the component velocities U and V parallel to the axis of x and y, it will not strike the axis of x unless u>v^2k^2 and distance uk^2/√u-k as origin
Gabriel Reply
No idea.... Are you even sure this question exist?
Mavis
I can't even understand the question
Ademiye
yes it was an assignment question "^"represent raise to power pls
Gabriel
mu/y³ u>v²k² uk²/√u-vk please help me out
Gabriel
An engineer builds two simple pendula. Both are suspended from small wires secured to the ceiling of a room. Each pendulum hovers 2 cm above the floor. Pendulum 1 has a bob with a mass of 10kg . Pendulum 2 has a bob with a mass of 100 kg . Describe how the motion of the pendula will differ if the bobs are both displaced by 12º .
Imtiaz Reply
no ideas
Augstine
if u at an angle of 12 degrees their period will be same so as their velocity, that means they both move simultaneously since both both hovers at same length meaning they have the same length
Ademiye
Modern cars are made of materials that make them collapsible upon collision. Explain using physics concept (Force and impulse), how these car designs help with the safety of passengers.
Isaac Reply
calculate the force due to surface tension required to support a column liquid in a capillary tube 5mm. If the capillary tube is dipped into a beaker of water
Mildred Reply
find the time required for a train Half a Kilometre long to cross a bridge almost kilometre long racing at 100km/h
Ademiye
method of polarization
Ajayi
What is atomic number?
Makperr Reply
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
Deborah
type of thermodynamics
Yinka Reply
oxygen gas contained in a ccylinder of volume has a temp of 300k and pressure 2.5×10Nm
Taheer Reply

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store Now




Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'College physics' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask