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The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of existence,

including planets, stars, galaxies, the contents ofintergalactic space, the
smallest subatomic particles, and all matter and energy.
!imilar terms include
the cosmos, the world,reality, and nature.
The obser"able uni"erse is about 4 billion light years in radius.
!cientific obser"ation
of the $ni"erse has led to inferences of its earlier stages. These obser"ations suggest
that the $ni"erse has been go"erned by the same physical la%s and constants
throughout most of its extent and history. The &ig &ang theory is the pre"ailing
cosmological model that describes the early de"elopment of the $ni"erse, %hich is
calculated to ha"e begun 13.#'( ) *.*3# billion years ago.
of superno"aeha"e sho%n that the $ni"erse is expanding at an accelerating rate.
There are many competing theories about the ultimate fate of the universe.
Physicists remain unsure about what, if anything, preceded the Big Bang.
Many refuse to speculate, doubting that any information from any such prior
state could ever be accessible. There are various multiverse hypotheses, in
which some physicists have suggested that the Universe might be one
among many or even an infinite number of universes that likewise exist.

Historical observation
Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF)
XDF si,e compared to the si,e of the -oon . se"eral thousandgalaxies, each consisting of billions
of stars, are in this small "ie%.
XDF /2*120 "ie% . each light spec1 is a galaxy . some of these are as old as 13.2 billion years
. the
"isible $ni"erse is estimated to contain 2** billion galaxies.
XDF image sho%s fully maturegalaxies in the foreground plane . nearly mature galaxies from 5 to '
billion years ago . protogalaxies, bla,ing %ith young stars, beyond ' billion years.
Throughout recorded history, se"eral cosmologies and cosmogonies ha"e been
proposed to account for obser"ations of the $ni"erse. The earliest
2uantitati"e geocentric models %ere de"eloped by the ancient 3ree1 philosophers. +"er
the centuries, more precise obser"ations and impro"ed theories of gra"ity led
to 4opernicus5s heliocentric model and the 6e%tonian model of the !olar !ystem,
respecti"ely. 7urther impro"ements in astronomy led to the reali,ation that the !olar
!ystem is embedded in a galaxy composed of billions of stars, the -il1y 8ay, and that
other galaxies exist outside it, as far as astronomical instruments can reach. 4areful
studies of the distribution of these galaxies and their spectral lines ha"e led to much
of modern cosmology. 9isco"ery of the red shift and cosmic micro%a"e bac1ground
radiation suggested that the $ni"erse is expanding and had a beginning.
Main article: Chronology of the universe
:ccording to the pre"ailing scientific model of the $ni"erse, 1no%n as the &ig &ang, the
$ni"erse expanded from an extremely hot, dense phase called the ;lanc1 epoch, in
%hich all the matter and energy of the obser"able uni"erse %as concentrated. !ince the
;lanc1 epoch, the $ni"erse has been expanding to its present form, possibly %ith a brief
period /less than 1*
seconds0 of cosmic inflation. !e"eral independent experimental
measurements support this theoretical expansion and, more generally, the &ig &ang
theory. The uni"erse is composed of ordinary matter /5=0 including atoms, stars, and
galaxies, dar1 matter /25=0 %hich is a hypothetical particle that has not yet been
detected, and dar1 energy /#*=0, %hich is a 1ind of energy density that seemingly exists
e"en in completely empty space.
>ecent obser"ations indicate that this expansion is
accelerating because of dar1 energy, and that most of the matter in the $ni"erse may be
in a form %hich cannot be detected by present instruments, called dar1 matter.
common use of the ?dar1 matter? and ?dar1 energy?placeholder names for the un1no%n
entities purported to account for about '5= of the mass@energy density of the $ni"erse
demonstrates the present obser"ational and conceptual shortcomings and uncertainties
concerning the nature and ultimate fate of the $ni"erse.
+n 21 -arch 2*13, the Auropean research team behind the ;lanc1 cosmology
probe released the mission5s all@s1y map of the cosmic micro%a"e bac1ground.
The map suggests the uni"erse is slightly older than thought. :ccording to the map,
subtle fluctuations in temperature %ere imprinted on the deep s1y %hen the cosmos %as
about 3#*,*** years old. The imprint reflects ripples that arose as early, in the existence
of the uni"erse, as the first nonillionth /1*
0 of a second. :pparently, these ripples ga"e
rise to the present "ast cosmic %eb of galaxy clusters and dar1 matter. :ccording to the
team, the uni"erse is 13.#'( ) *.*3# billion years old,
and contains 4.'= ordinary
matter, 2.(= dar1 matter and (.3= dar1 energy. :lso, the Bubble constant %as
measured to be #.(* ) *.## /1mCs0C-pc.
:n earlier interpretation of astronomical obser"ations indicated that the age of the
$ni"erse %as 13.##2 ) *.*5' billion years,
and that the diameter of the obser"able
uni"erse is at least '3 billion light years or (.(*D1*
:ccording to general
relati"ity, space can expand faster than the speed of light, although %e can "ie% only a
small portion of the $ni"erse due to the limitation imposed by light speed. !ince %e
cannot obser"e space beyond the limitations of light /or any electromagnetic radiation0, it
is uncertain %hether the si,e of the $ni"erse is finite or infinite.
Etymology, synonyms and definitions
See also: Cosmos, Nature, World (hilosohy!, and Celestial sheres
The %ord "niverse deri"es from the +ld 7rench %ord "nivers, %hich in turn deri"es from
the Eatin %ord universum.
The Eatin %ord %as used by 4icero and later Eatin authors
in many of the same senses as the modern Anglish %ord is used.
The Eatin %ord
deri"es from the poetic contraction "nvorsum F first used by Eucretius in &oo1 GH /line
220 of his De rerum natura /#n the Nature of $hings0 F %hich connects un, uni /the
combining form of unus, or ?one?0 %ith vorsum, versum /a noun made from the perfect
passi"e participle of vertere, meaning ?something rotated, rolled, changed?0.
:n alternati"e interpretation of unvorsum is ?e"erything rotated as one? or ?e"erything
rotated by one?. Gn this sense, it may be considered a translation of an earlier 3ree1 %ord
for the $ni"erse, IJKLMNKO, /erifor%, ?circumambulation?0, originally used to describe a
course of a meal, the food being carried around the circle of dinner guests.
This 3ree1
%ord refers to celestial spheres, an early 3ree1 model of the $ni"erse. >egarding
;lato5s -etaphor of the sun, :ristotle suggests that the rotation of the sphere of fixed
stars inspired by the prime mo"er, moti"ates, in turn, terrestrial change "ia the !un.
4areful astronomical and physical measurements /such as the 7oucault pendulum0 are
re2uired to pro"e the Aarth rotates on its axis.
: term for ?$ni"erse? in ancient 3reece %as P IQ /t& %n, The :ll, ;an /mythology00.
>elated terms %ere matter, /P RNQ, t& 'lon, see also Byle, lit. %ood0 and place /P
SJQTQ,t& (en'n0.
+ther synonyms for the $ni"erse among the ancient 3ree1
philosophers included STUVNW /cosmos0 and MXULW /meaning 6ature, from %hich %e
deri"e the %ordphysics0.
The same synonyms are found in Eatin authors
/totum, mundus, natura0
and sur"i"e in modern languages, e.g., the 3erman
%ords Das )ll, Weltall, and Natur for $ni"erse. The same synonyms are found in Anglish,
such as e"erything /as in the theory of e"erything0, the cosmos /as in cosmology0,
the %orld /as in the many@%orlds interpretation0, and 6ature /as in natural la%s or natural
Broadest definition$ reality and probability
See also: *ssence+*nergies distinction,Distinction -etween created and uncreated
The broadest definition of the $ni"erse is found in De divisione naturae by
the medie"al philosopher and theologian Yohannes !cotus Ariugena, %ho defined it as
simply e"erythingZ e"erything that is created and e"erything that is not created.
%efinition as reality
See also: .eality and /hysics
-ore customarily, the $ni"erse is defined as e"erything that exists, /has existed, and %ill
[citation needed]
. :ccording to our current understanding, the $ni"erse consists of three
principlesZ spacetime, forms of energy, including momentum and matter, and the physical
la%s that relate them.
%efinition as connected space&time
See also: *ternal inflation
Gt is possible to concei"e of disconnected space@times, each existing but unable to
interact %ith one another. :n easily "isuali,ed metaphor is a group of separate soap
bubbles, in %hich obser"ers li"ing on one soap bubble cannot interact %ith those on other
soap bubbles, e"en in principle. :ccording to one common terminology, each ?soap
bubble? of space@time is denoted as a uni"erse, %hereas our particular space@time is
denoted as the "niverse, [ust as %e call our moon the Moon. The entire collection of
these separate space@times is denoted as the multi"erse.
Gn principle, the other
unconnected uni"erses may ha"e different dimensionalities and topologies of space@time,
different forms ofmatter and energy, and different physical la%s and physical constants,
although such possibilities are purely speculati"e.
%efinition as observable reality
See also: #-serva-le universe and #-servational cosmology
:ccording to a still@more@restricti"e definition, the $ni"erse is e"erything %ithin our
connected space@time that could ha"e a chance to interact %ith us and "ice "ersa.
:ccording to the general theory of relati"ity, some regions of space may ne"er
interact %ith ours e"en in the lifetime of the $ni"erse due to the finite speed of light and
the ongoing expansion of space. 7or example, radio messages sent from Aarth may
ne"er reach some regions of space, e"en if the $ni"erse %ould li"e fore"erZ space may
expand faster than light can tra"erse it.
9istant regions of space are ta1en to exist and be part of reality as much as %e are, yet
%e can ne"er interact %ith them. The spatial region %ithin %hich %e can affect and be
affected is the obser"able uni"erse. !trictly spea1ing, the obser"able $ni"erse depends
on the location of the obser"er. &y tra"eling, an obser"er can come into contact %ith a
greater region of space@time than an obser"er %ho remains still. 6e"ertheless, e"en the
most rapid tra"eler %ill not be able to interact %ith all of space. Typically, the obser"able
$ni"erse is ta1en to mean the $ni"erse obser"able from our "antage point in the -il1y
8ay 3alaxy.
Size, age, contents, structure, and laws
Main articles: #-serva-le universe, )ge of the universe, and )-undance of the chemical
The si,e of the $ni"erse is un1no%n\ it may be infinite. The region "isible from Aarth
/the obser"able uni"erse0 is a sphere %ith a radius of about 4 billion light years,
on %here the expansion of space has ta1en the most distant ob[ects obser"ed. 7or
comparison, the diameter of a typical galaxy is 3*,*** light@years, and the typical
distance bet%een t%o neighboring galaxies is 3 million light@years.
:s an example,
the -il1y 8ay 3alaxy is roughly 1**,*** light years in diameter,
and the nearest sister
galaxy to the -il1y 8ay, the :ndromeda 3alaxy, is located roughly 2.5 million light years
There are probably more than 1** billion /1*
0 galaxies in the obser"able
Typical galaxies range from d%arfs %ith as fe% as ten million
0 stars up
to giants %ith one trillion
0 stars, all orbiting the galaxy5s center of mass. : 2*1*
study by astronomers estimated that the obser"able $ni"erse contains 3** sextillion
0 stars.
The $ni"erse is belie"ed to be mostly composed of dar1 energy and dar1 matter, both of %hich are
poorly understood at present. Eess than 5= of the $ni"erse is ordinary matter, a relati"ely small
The obser"able matter is spread homogeneously /uniformly0 throughout the $ni"erse,
%hen a"eraged o"er distances longer than 3** million light@years.
Bo%e"er, on smaller
length@scales, matter is obser"ed to form ?clumps?, i.e., to cluster hierarchically\
many atoms are condensed intostars, most stars into galaxies, most galaxies
into clusters, superclusters and, finally, the largest@scale structures such as the 3reat
8all of galaxies. The obser"able matter of the $ni"erse is also spreadisotroically,
meaning that no direction of obser"ation seems different from any other\ each region of
the s1y has roughly the same content.
The $ni"erse is also bathed in a
highly isotropic micro%a"eradiation that corresponds to a thermal e2uilibrium blac1body
spectrum of roughly 2.#25 1el"in.
The hypothesis that the large@scale $ni"erse is
homogeneous and isotropic is 1no%n as thecosmological principle,
%hich is supported
by astronomical obser"ations.
The present o"erall density of the $ni"erse is "ery lo%, roughly '.' D 1*
grams per
cubic centimetre. This mass@energy appears to consist of #3= dar1 energy, 23= cold
dar1 matter and 4=ordinary matter. Thus the density of atoms is on the order of a single
hydrogen atom for e"ery four cubic meters of "olume.
The properties of dar1 energy
and dar1 matter are largely un1no%n. 9ar1 matter gra"itates as ordinary matter, and thus
%or1s to slo% the expansion of the $ni"erse\ by contrast, dar1 energy accelerates its
The current estimate of the $ni"erse5s age is 13.#'( ) *.*3# billion years old.
$ni"erse has not been the same at all times in its history\ for example, the relati"e
populations of 2uasars and galaxies ha"e changed and space itself appears to
ha"e expanded. This expansion accounts for ho% Aarth@bound scientists can obser"e the
light from a galaxy 3* billion light years a%ay, e"en if that light has tra"eled for only 13
billion years\ the "ery space bet%een them has expanded. This expansion is consistent
%ith the obser"ation that the light from distant galaxies has been redshifted\
the photons emitted ha"e been stretched to longer %a"elengths and
lo%er fre2uency during their [ourney. The rate of this spatial expansion is accelerating,
based on studies of Type Ga superno"ae and corroborated by other data.
The relati"e fractions of different chemical elements F particularly the lightest atoms
such as hydrogen, deuterium and helium F seem to be identical throughout the $ni"erse
and throughout its obser"able history.
The $ni"erse seems to ha"e much
more matter than antimatter, an asymmetry possibly related to the obser"ations of 4;
The $ni"erse appears to ha"e no net electric charge, and
therefore gra"ity appears to be the dominant interaction on cosmological length scales.
The $ni"erse also appears to ha"e neither net momentum nor angular momentum. The
absence of net charge and momentum %ould follo% from accepted physical la%s
/3auss5s la% and the non@di"ergence of the stress@energy@momentum pseudotensor,
respecti"ely0, if the $ni"erse %ere finite.
The elementary particles from %hich the $ni"erse is constructed. !ix leptons and six 2uar1s comprise
most of the matter\ for example, the protons andneutrons of atomic nuclei are composed of 2uar1s, and
the ubi2uitous electron is a lepton. These particles interact "ia the gauge bosons sho%n in the middle
ro%, each corresponding to a particular type ofgauge symmetry. The Biggs boson is belie"ed to
confer mass on the particles %ith %hich it is connected. The gra"iton, a supposed gauge boson
forgra"ity, is not sho%n.
The $ni"erse appears to ha"e a smooth space@time continuum consisting of
three spatial dimensions and one temporal /time0 dimension. +n the a"erage, space is
obser"ed to be "ery nearly flat /close to ,ero cur"ature0, meaning that Auclidean
geometry is experimentally true %ith high accuracy throughout most of the $ni"erse.
!pacetime also appears to ha"e asimply connected topology, at least on the length@
scale of the obser"able $ni"erse. Bo%e"er, present obser"ations cannot exclude the
possibilities that the $ni"erse has more dimensions and that its spacetime may ha"e a
multiply connected global topology, in analogy %ith the cylindrical or toroidal topologies of
t%o@dimensional spaces.
The $ni"erse appears to beha"e in a manner that regularly follo%s a set of physical
la%s and physical constants.
:ccording to the pre"ailing !tandard -odel of physics, all
matter is composed of three generations of leptons and 2uar1s, both of %hich
are fermions. These elementary particles interact "ia at most three fundamental
interactionsZ the electro%ea1interaction %hich includes electromagnetism and the %ea1
nuclear force\ the strong nuclear force described by 2uantum chromodynamics\
and gra"ity, %hich is best described at present by general relati"ity. The first t%o
interactions can be described by renormali,ed 2uantum field theory, and are mediated
by gauge bosons that correspond to a particular type ofgauge symmetry. : renormali,ed
2uantum field theory of general relati"ity has not yet been achie"ed. The theory of special
relati"ity is belie"ed to hold throughout the $ni"erse, pro"ided that the spatial and
temporal length scales are sufficiently short\ other%ise, the more general theory of
general relati"ity must be applied. There is no explanation for the particular "alues
that physical constants appear to ha"e throughout our $ni"erse, such as ;lanc15s
constant h or the gra"itational constant 0. !e"eral conser"ation la%s ha"e been
identified, such as the conser"ation of charge, momentum, angular
momentum and energy\ in many cases, these conser"ation la%s can be related
to symmetries or mathematical identities.
'ine tuning
Main article: Fine1tuned "niverse
Gt appears that many of the properties of the $ni"erse ha"e special "alues in the sense
that a $ni"erse %here these properties differ slightly %ould not be able to support
intelligent life.
6ot all scientists agree that this fine@tuning exists.
Gn particular, it
is not 1no%n under %hat conditions intelligent life could form and %hat form or shape that
%ould ta1e. : rele"ant obser"ation in this discussion is that for an obser"er to exist to
obser"e fine@tuning, the $ni"erse must be able to support intelligent life. :s such
theconditional probability of obser"ing a $ni"erse that is fine@tuned to support intelligent
life is 1. This obser"ation is 1no%n as the anthropic principle and is particularly rele"ant if
the creation of the $ni"erse %as probabilistic or if multiple uni"erses %ith a "ariety of
properties exist /see belo%0.
Historical models
See also: Cosmology and $imeline of cosmology
-any models of the cosmos /cosmologies0 and its origin /cosmogonies0 ha"e been
proposed, based on the then@a"ailable data and conceptions of the $ni"erse. Bistorically,
cosmologies and cosmogonies %ere based on narrati"es of gods acting in "arious %ays.
Theories of an impersonal $ni"erse go"erned by physical la%s %ere first proposed by the
3ree1s and Gndians. +"er the centuries, impro"ements in astronomical obser"ations and
theories of motion and gra"itation led to e"er more accurate descriptions of the $ni"erse.
The modern era of cosmology began %ith :lbert Ainstein5s 1'15 general theory of
relati"ity, %hich made it possible to 2uantitati"ely predict the origin, e"olution, and
conclusion of the $ni"erse as a %hole. -ost modern, accepted theories of cosmology are
based on general relati"ity and, more specifically, the predicted &ig &ang\ ho%e"er, still
more careful measurements are re2uired to determine %hich theory is correct.
Main articles: Creation myth and Creator deity
-any cultures ha"e stories describing the origin of the %orld, %hich may be roughly
grouped into common types. Gn one type of story, the %orld is born from a %orld egg\
such stories include the 7innish epic poem 2alevala, the 4hinese story of ;angu or
the Gndian &rahmanda ;urana. Gn related stories, the $ni"erse is created by a single
entity emanating or producing something by him@ or herself, as in the Tibetan
&uddhism concept of :di@&uddha, the ancient 3ree1 story of 3aia /-other Aarth0,
the :,tec goddess4oatlicue myth, the ancient Agyptian god :tum story, or the 3enesis
creation narrati"e. Gn another type of story, the $ni"erse is created from the union of male
and female deities, as in the -aori story of >angi and ;apa. Gn other stories, the
$ni"erse is created by crafting it from pre@existing materials, such as the corpse of a
dead god F as fromTiamat in the &abylonian epic Anuma Alish or from the
giant ]mir in 6orse mythology . or from chaotic materials, as
in G,anagi and G,anami in Yapanese mythology. Gn other stories, the $ni"erse emanates
from fundamental principles, such as &rahman and ;ra1rti, the creation myth of
the !erers,
or the yin and yang of the Tao.
Philosophical models
Further information: Cosmology
See also: /re1Socratic hilosohy, /hysics ()ristotle!, 3indu cosmology, 4slamic
cosmology, and $ime
7rom the th century &4A, the pre@!ocratic 3ree1 philosophers de"eloped the earliest
1no%n philosophical models of the $ni"erse. The earliest 3ree1 philosophers noted that
appearances can be decei"ing, and sought to understand the underlying reality behind
the appearances. Gn particular, they noted the ability of matter to change forms /e.g., ice
to %ater to steam0 and se"eral philosophers proposed that all the apparently different
materials of the %orld are different forms of a single primordial material, or arche. The
first to do so %as Thales, %ho proposed this material is 8ater. Thales5
student, :naximander, proposed that e"erything came from the
limitless apeiron. :naximenes proposed :ir on account of its percei"ed attracti"e and
repulsi"e 2ualities that cause the arche to condense or dissociate into different
forms. :naxagoras, proposed the principle of 6ous /-ind0.Beraclitus proposed fire /and
spo1e of logos0. Ampedocles proposed the elementsZ earth, %ater, air and fire. Bis four
element theory became "ery popular. Ei1e ;ythagoras, ;latobelie"ed that all things %ere
composed of number, %ith the Ampedocles5 elements ta1ing the form of the ;latonic
solids. 9emocritus, and later philosophersFmost notablyEeucippusFproposed that the
$ni"erse %as composed of indi"isible atoms mo"ing through "oid /"acuum0. :ristotle did
not belie"e that %as feasible because air, li1e %ater, offersresistance to motion. :ir %ill
immediately rush in to fill a "oid, and moreo"er, %ithout resistance, it %ould do so
indefinitely fast.
:lthough Beraclitus argued for eternal change, his 2uasi@
contemporary ;armenides made the radical suggestion that all change is an illusion, that
the true underlying reality is eternally unchanging and of a single nature. ;armenides
denoted this reality as P Q /The +ne0. ;armenides5 theory seemed implausible to many
3ree1s, but his student ^eno of Alea challenged them %ith se"eral famous paradoxes.
:ristotle responded to these paradoxes by de"eloping the notion of a potential countable
infinity, as %ell as the infinitely di"isible continuum. $nli1e the eternal and unchanging
cycles of time, he belie"ed the %orld %as bounded by the celestial spheres, and thus
magnitude %as only finitely multiplicati"e.
The Gndian philosopher _anada, founder of the Haisheshi1a school, de"eloped a theory
of atomism and proposed that light and heat %ere "arieties of the same substance.
the 5th century :9, the &uddhist atomist philosopher 9ign`ga proposed atoms to be
point@si,ed, durationless, and made of energy. They denied the existence of substantial
matter and proposed that mo"ement consisted of momentary flashes of a stream of
The theory of temporal finitism %as inspired by the doctrine of 4reation shared by the
three :brahamic religionsZ Yudaism, 4hristianity and Gslam. The 4hristian
philosopher, Yohn ;hiloponus, presented the philosophical arguments against the ancient
3ree1 notion of an infinite past and future. ;hiloponus5 arguments against an infinite past
%ere used by the early -uslim philosopher, :l@_indi /:l1indus0\ the Ye%ish
philosopher, !aadia 3aon /!aadia ben Yoseph0\ and the -uslim theologian, :l@
3ha,ali /:lga,el0. &orro%ing from :ristotle5s /hysics and Metahysics, they employed
t%o logical arguments against an infinite past, the first being the ?argument from the
impossibility of the existence of an actual infinite?, %hich statesZ
?:n actual infinite cannot exist.?
?:n infinite temporal regress of e"ents is an actual infinite.?
? :n infinite temporal regress of e"ents cannot exist.?
The second argument, the ?argument from the impossibility of completing an
actual infinite by successi"e addition?, statesZ
?:n actual infinite cannot be completed by successi"e addition.?
?The temporal series of past e"ents has been completed by successi"e addition.?
? The temporal series of past e"ents cannot be an actual infinite.?
&oth arguments %ere adopted by 4hristian philosophers and
theologians, and the second argument in particular became
more famous after it %as adopted by Gmmanuel _ant in his
thesis of the first antinomy concerning time.
)stronomical models
Main article: 3istory of astronomy
:ristarchus5s 3rd century &4A calculations on the relati"e si,es of from left
the !un, Aarth and -oon, from a 1*th@century :9 3ree1 copy
:stronomical models of the $ni"erse %ere proposed soon
after astronomy began %ith the &abylonian astronomers, %ho
"ie%ed the $ni"erse as a flat dis1 floating in the ocean, and this
forms the premise for early 3ree1 maps li1e those
of :naximander and Becataeus of -iletus.
Eater 3ree1 philosophers, obser"ing the motions of the
hea"enly bodies, %ere concerned %ith de"eloping models of the
$ni"erse based more profoundly on empirical e"idence. The first
coherent model %as proposed by Audoxus of 4nidos. :ccording
to :ristotle5s physical interpretation of the model, celestial
spheres eternally rotate %ith uniform motion around a stationary
Aarth. 6ormal matter, is entirely contained %ithin the terrestrial
sphere. This model %as also refined by 4allippus and after
concentric spheres %ere abandoned, it %as brought into nearly
perfect agreement %ith astronomical obser"ations by ;tolemy.
The success of such a model is largely due to the mathematical
fact that any function /such as the position of a planet0 can be
decomposed into a set of circular functions /the 7ourier modes0.
+ther 3ree1 scientists, such as
the ;ythagorean philosopher ;hilolaus postulated that at the
center of the $ni"erse %as a ?central fire? around %hich
the Aarth, !un, -oon and ;lanets re"ol"ed in uniform circular
The 3ree1 astronomer :ristarchus of !amos %as the
first 1no%n indi"idual to propose a heliocentric model of the
$ni"erse. Though the original text has been lost, a reference in
:rchimedes5 boo1 The !and >ec1oner describes :ristarchus5
heliocentric theory. :rchimedes %roteZ /translated into Anglish0
]ou _ing 3elon are a%are the 5$ni"erse5 is the name gi"en by
most astronomers to the sphere the center of %hich is the center
of the Aarth, %hile its radius is e2ual to the straight line bet%een
the center of the !un and the center of the Aarth. This is the
common account as you ha"e heard from astronomers. &ut
:ristarchus has brought out a boo1 consisting of certain
hypotheses, %herein it appears, as a conse2uence of the
assumptions made, that the $ni"erse is many times greater than
the 5$ni"erse5 [ust mentioned. Bis hypotheses are that the fixed
stars and the !un remain unmo"ed, that the Aarth re"ol"es
about the !un on the circumference of a circle, the !un lying in
the middle of the orbit, and that the sphere of fixed stars,
situated about the same center as the !un, is so great that the
circle in %hich he supposes the Aarth to re"ol"e bears such a
proportion to the distance of the fixed stars as the center of the
sphere bears to its surface.
:ristarchus thus belie"ed the stars to be "ery far a%ay, and sa%
this as the reason %hy there %as no parallax apparent, that is,
no obser"ed mo"ement of the stars relati"e to each other as the
Aarth mo"ed around the !un. The stars are in fact much farther
a%ay than the distance that %as generally assumed in ancient
times, %hich is %hy stellar parallax is only detectable %ith
precision instruments. The geocentric model, consistent %ith
planetary parallax, %as assumed to be an explanation for the
unobser"ability of the parallel phenomenon, stellar parallax. The
re[ection of the heliocentric "ie% %as apparently 2uite strong, as
the follo%ing passage from ;lutarch suggests /+n the :pparent
7ace in the +rb of the -oon0Z
4leanthes [a contemporary of :ristarchus and head of the
!toics] thought it %as the duty of the 3ree1s to indict :ristarchus
of !amos on the charge of impiety for putting in motion the
Bearth of the $ni"erse [i.e. the earth], . . . supposing the hea"en
to remain at rest and the earth to re"ol"e in an obli2ue circle,
%hile it rotates, at the same time, about its o%n axis. [1]
The only other astronomer from anti2uity 1no%n by name %ho
supported :ristarchus5 heliocentric model %as !eleucus of
!eleucia, a Bellenistic astronomer %ho li"ed a century after
:ccording to ;lutarch, !eleucus %as the first
to pro"e the heliocentric system through reasoning, but it is not
1no%n %hat arguments he used. !eleucus5 arguments for a
heliocentric theory %ere probably related to the phenomenon
of tides.
:ccording to !trabo /1.1.'0, !eleucus %as the first to
state that the tides are due to the attraction of the -oon, and
that the height of the tides depends on the -oon5s position
relati"e to the !un.
:lternati"ely, he may ha"e pro"ed the
heliocentric theory by determining the constants of
a geometric model for the heliocentric theory and by de"eloping
methods to compute planetary positions using this model, li1e
%hat 6icolaus 4opernicus later did in the 1th century.
the -iddle :ges, heliocentric models may ha"e also been
proposed by the Gndian astronomer, :ryabhata,
and by
the;ersian astronomers, :lbumasar
and :l@!i[,i.
-odel of the 4opernican $ni"erseby Thomas 9igges in 15#, %ith the
amendment that the stars are no longer confined to a sphere, but spread
uniformly throughout the space surrounding the planets.
The :ristotelian model %as accepted in the 8estern %orld for
roughly t%o millennia, until 4opernicus re"i"ed :ristarchus5
theory that the astronomical data could be explained more
plausibly if the earth rotated on its axis and if the sun %ere
placed at the center of the $ni"erse.

Gn the center rests the sun. 7or %ho %ould place this
lamp of a "ery beautiful temple in another or better
place than this %herefrom it can illuminate
e"erything at the same timea

F6icolaus 4opernicus, in 4hapter 1*, &oo1 1 of De .evolutioni-us #r-ium
Coelestrum /15430
:s noted by 4opernicus himself, the suggestion that the Aarth
rotates %as "ery old, dating at least to ;hilolaus /c. 45*
&40, Beraclides ;onticus /c. 35* &40 and Acphantus the
;ythagorean. >oughly a century before 4opernicus, 4hristian
scholar 6icholas of 4usa also proposed that the Aarth rotates
on its axis in his boo1, #n 5earned 4gnorance /144*0.
:ryabhata /4#.55*0, &rahmagupta /5'(.
(0,:lbumasar and :l@!i[,i, also proposed that the Aarth
rotates on its axis.
[citation needed]
The first empirical e"idence for the
Aarth5s rotation on its axis, using the phenomenon of comets,
%as gi"en by Tusi /12*1.12#40 and :li bush[i /14*3.14#40.
[citation needed]
Yohannes _epler published the.udolhine $a-les containing a star catalog
and planetary tables usingTycho &rahe5s measurements.
This cosmology %as accepted by Gsaac 6e%ton, 4hristiaan
Buygens and later scientists.
Admund Balley /1#2*0
and Yean@;hilippe de 4heseaux /1#440
independently that the assumption of an infinite space filled
uniformly %ith stars %ould lead to the prediction that the
nighttime s1y %ould be as bright as the sun itself\ this became
1no%n as +lbers5 paradox in the 1'th century.
belie"ed that an infinite space uniformly filled %ith matter %ould
cause infinite forces and instabilities causing the matter to be
crushed in%ards under its o%n gra"ity.
This instability %as
clarified in 1'*2 by the Yeans instability criterion.
+ne solution
to these paradoxes is the 4harlier $ni"erse, in %hich the matter
is arranged hierarchically /systems of orbiting bodies that are
themsel"es orbiting in a larger system, ad infinitum0 in
a fractal %ay such that the $ni"erse has a negligibly small
o"erall density\ such a cosmological model had also been
proposed earlier in 1#1 by Yohann Beinrich Eambert.
significant astronomical ad"ance of the 1(th century %as the
reali,ation by Thomas 8right, Gmmanuel _ant and others
of nebulae.
The modern era of physical cosmology began in 1'1#,
%hen :lbert Ainstein first applied his general theory of relati"ity
to model the structure and dynamics of the $ni"erse.
Theoretical models
Bigh@precision test of general relati"ity by the 4assini space probe /artist5s
impression0Z radio signals sent bet%een the Aarth and the probe /green
%a"e0 are delayed by the %arping of space and time /blue lines0 due to
the !un5s mass.
+f the four fundamental interactions, gra"itation is dominant at
cosmological length scales\ that is, the other three forces play a
negligible role in determining structures at the le"el of planetary
systems, galaxies and larger@scale structures. &ecause all
matter and energy gra"itate, gra"ity5s effects are cumulati"e\ by
contrast, the effects of positi"e and negati"e charges tend to
cancel one another, ma1ing electromagnetism relati"ely
insignificant on cosmological length scales. The remaining t%o
interactions, the %ea1 and strong nuclear forces, decline "ery
rapidly %ith distance\ their effects are confined mainly to sub@
atomic length scales.
*eneral theory of relativity
Main articles: 4ntroduction to general relativity, 0eneral relativity,
and *instein6s field e7uations
3i"en gra"itation5s predominance in shaping cosmological
structures, accurate predictions of the $ni"erse5s past and future
re2uire an accurate theory of gra"itation. The best theory
a"ailable is :lbert Ainstein5s general theory of relati"ity, %hich
has passed all experimental tests to date. Bo%e"er, because
rigorous experiments ha"e not been carried out on cosmological
length scales, general relati"ity could concei"ably be inaccurate.
6e"ertheless, its cosmological predictions appear to be
consistent %ith obser"ations, so there is no compelling reason to
adopt another theory.
3eneral relati"ity pro"ides a set of ten nonlinear partial
differential e2uations for the spacetime metric /Ainstein5s field
e2uations0 that must be sol"ed from the distribution of mass@
energy and momentum throughout the $ni"erse. &ecause these
are un1no%n in exact detail, cosmological models ha"e been
based on the cosmological principle, %hich states that the
$ni"erse is homogeneous and isotropic. Gn effect, this principle
asserts that the gra"itational effects of the "arious galaxies
ma1ing up the $ni"erse are e2ui"alent to those of a
finedust distributed uniformly throughout the $ni"erse %ith the
same a"erage density. The assumption of a uniform dust ma1es
it easy to sol"e Ainstein5s field e2uations and predict the past
and future of the $ni"erse on cosmological time scales.
Ainstein5s field e2uations include a cosmological constant /80,
that corresponds to an energy density of empty space.
9epending on its sign, the cosmological constant can either
slo% /negati"e 80 or accelerate /positi"e 80 the expansion of the
$ni"erse. :lthough many scientists, including Ainstein, had
speculated that 8 %as ,ero,
recent astronomical obser"ations
of type Ga superno"ae ha"e detected a large amount of ?dar1
energy? that is accelerating the $ni"erse5s expansion.
;reliminary studies suggest that this dar1 energy
corresponds to a positi"e 8, although alternati"e theories cannot
be ruled out as yet.
>ussian physicist ^el5do"ich suggested
that 8 is a measure of the ,ero@point energy associated
%ith "irtual particles of 2uantum field theory, a
per"asi"e "acuum energy that exists e"ery%here, e"en in empty
A"idence for such ,ero@point energy is obser"ed in
the 4asimir effect.
+pecial relativity and space&time
Main articles: 4ntroduction to secial relativity and Secial
+nly its length 5 is intrinsic to the rod /sho%n in blac10\ coordinate
differences bet%een its endpoints /such as cx, cy or cd, ce0 depend on
their frame of reference /depicted in blue and red, respecti"ely0.
The $ni"erse has at least three spatial and one temporal /time0
dimension. Gt %as long thought that the spatial and temporal
dimensions %ere different in nature and independent of one
another. Bo%e"er, according to the special theory of relati"ity,
spatial and temporal separations are intercon"ertible /%ithin
limits0 by changing one5s motion.
To understand this intercon"ersion, it is helpful to consider the
analogous intercon"ersion of spatial separations along the three
spatial dimensions. 4onsider the t%o endpoints of a rod of
length 5. The length can be determined from the differences in
the three coordinates cx, cy and c, of the t%o endpoints in a
gi"en reference frame
using the ;ythagorean theorem. Gn a rotated reference
frame, the coordinate differences differ, but they gi"e the
same length
Thus, the coordinates differences /cx, cy, c,0 and /cd,
ce, cf0 are not intrinsic to the rod, but merely reflect the
reference frame used to describe it\ by contrast, the
length 5 is an intrinsic property of the rod. The
coordinate differences can be changed %ithout affecting
the rod, by rotating one5s reference frame.
The analogy in spacetime is called the inter"al bet%een
t%o e"ents\ an e"ent is defined as a point in spacetime,
a specific position in space and a specific moment in
time. The spacetime inter"al bet%een t%o e"ents is
gi"en by
%here c is the speed of light. :ccording to special
relati"ity, one can change a spatial and time
separation /51, ct10 into another /52, ct20 by
changing one5s reference frame, as long as the
change maintains the spacetime inter"al s. !uch a
change in reference frame corresponds to changing
one5s motion\ in a mo"ing frame, lengths and times
are different from their counterparts in a stationary
reference frame. The precise manner in %hich the
coordinate and time differences change %ith motion
is described by the Eorent, transformation.
+olving ,instein-s field e.uations
See also: 9ig 9ang and "ltimate fate of the

:nimation illustrating the metric expansion of the uni"erse
The distances bet%een the spinning galaxies
increase %ith time, but the distances bet%een the
stars %ithin each galaxy stay roughly the same, due
to their gra"itational interactions. This animation
illustrates a closed 7riedmann $ni"erse %ith
,ero cosmological constant g\ such a $ni"erse
oscillates bet%een a &ig &ang and a &ig 4runch.
Gn non@4artesian /non@s2uare0 or cur"ed coordinate
systems, the ;ythagorean theorem holds only on
infinitesimal length scales and must be augmented
%ith a more general metric tensor gVQ, %hich can
"ary from place to place and %hich describes the
local geometry in the particular coordinate system.
Bo%e"er, assuming the cosmological principle that
the $ni"erse is homogeneous and isotropic
e"ery%here, e"ery point in space is li1e e"ery other
point\ hence, the metric tensor must be the same
e"ery%here. That leads to a single form for the
metric tensor, called the 7riedmann.Eemahtre.
>obertson.8al1er metric
%here /r, i, M0 correspond to a spherical
coordinate system. This metric has only t%o
undetermined parametersZ an o"erall length
scale .that can "ary %ith time, and a cur"ature
index ( that can be only *, 1 or <1,
corresponding to flat Auclidean geometry, or
spaces of positi"e or negati"e cur"ature. Gn
cosmology, sol"ing for the history of the
$ni"erse is done by calculating . as a function
of time, gi"en (and the "alue of
the cosmological constant 8, %hich is a /small0
parameter in Ainstein5s field e2uations. The
e2uation describing ho% . "aries %ith time is
1no%n as the 7riedmann e2uation, after its
in"entor, :lexander 7riedmann.
The solutions for .(t! depend on ( and 8, but
some 2ualitati"e features of such solutions are
general. 7irst and most importantly, the length
scale . of the $ni"erse can remain
constant only if the $ni"erse is perfectly
isotropic %ith positi"e cur"ature /(j10 and has
one precise "alue of density e"ery%here, as
first noted by :lbert Ainstein. Bo%e"er, this
e2uilibrium is unstable and because the
$ni"erse is 1no%n to be inhomogeneous on
smaller scales, . must change, according
to general relati"ity. 8hen . changes, all the
spatial distances in the $ni"erse change in
tandem\ there is an o"erall expansion or
contraction of space itself. This accounts for the
obser"ation that galaxies appear to be flying
apart\ the space bet%een them is stretching.
The stretching of space also accounts for the
apparent paradox that t%o galaxies can be 4*
billion light years apart, although they started
from the same point 13.( billion years
and ne"er mo"ed faster than the speed
of light.
!econd, all solutions suggest that there %as
a gra"itational singularity in the past,
%hen . goes to ,ero and matter and energy
became infinitely dense. Gt may seem that this
conclusion is uncertain because it is based on
the 2uestionable assumptions of perfect
homogeneity and isotropy /the cosmological
principle0 and that only the gra"itational
interaction is significant. Bo%e"er,
the ;enrose.Ba%1ing singularity
theorems sho% that a singularity should exist
for "ery general conditions. Bence, according to
Ainstein5s field e2uations, . gre% rapidly from
an unimaginably hot, dense state that existed
immediately follo%ing this singularity
/%hen . had a small, finite "alue0\ this is the
essence of the &ig &ang model of the $ni"erse.
: common misconception is that the &ig &ang
model predicts that matter and energy exploded
from a single point in space and time\ that is
false. >ather, space itself %as created in the
&ig &ang and imbued %ith a fixed amount of
energy and matter distributed uniformly
throughout\ as space expands /i.e.,
as .(t!increases0, the density of that matter and
energy decreases.
!pace has no boundary . that is empirically more certain than any external obser"ation.
Bo%e"er, that does not imply that space is infinite... /translated, original 3erman0
&ernhard >iemann /Babilitations"ortrag, 1(540
Third, the cur"ature index ( determines the sign
of the mean spatial cur"ature
of spacetime a"eraged o"er length scales
greater than a billion light years. Gf (j1, the
cur"ature is positi"e and the $ni"erse has a
finite "olume. !uch uni"erses are often
"isuali,ed as a three@dimensional
sphere S
embedded in a four@dimensional
space. 4on"ersely, if ( is ,ero or negati"e, the
$ni"erse may ha"e infinite "olume, depending
on its o"erall topology. Gt may seem counter@
intuiti"e that an infinite and yet infinitely dense
$ni"erse could be created in a single instant at
the &ig &ang %hen .j*, but exactly that is
predicted mathematically %hen ( does not
e2ual 1. 7or comparison, an infinite plane has
,ero cur"ature but infinite area, %hereas an
infinite cylinder is finite in one direction and
a torus is finite in both. : toroidal $ni"erse
could beha"e li1e a normal $ni"erse
%ith periodic boundary conditions, as seen
in ?%rap@around? "ideo games such
as )steroids\ a tra"eler crossing an outer
?boundary? of space going outwards %ould
reappear instantly at another point on the
boundary mo"ing inwards.
Gllustration of the &ig &ang theory, the pre"ailing model
of the origin and expansion of spacetime and all that it
contains. Gn this diagram time increases from left to
right, and one dimension of space is suppressed, so at
any gi"en time the $ni"erse is represented by a dis1@
shaped ?slice? of the diagram.
The ultimate fate of the $ni"erse is still
un1no%n, because it depends critically on the
cur"ature index ( and the cosmological
constant 8. Gf the $ni"erse is sufficiently
dense, (e2uals k1, meaning that its a"erage
cur"ature throughout is positi"e and the
$ni"erse %ill e"entually recollapse in a &ig
4runch, possibly starting a ne% $ni"erse in
a &ig &ounce. 4on"ersely, if the $ni"erse is
insufficiently dense, ( e2uals * or <1 and the
$ni"erse %ill expand fore"er, cooling off and
e"entually becoming inhospitable for all life, as
the stars die and all matter coalesces into blac1
holes /the &ig 7ree,e and the heat death of the
$ni"erse0. :s noted abo"e, recent data
suggests that the expansion speed of the
$ni"erse is not decreasing as originally
expected, but increasing\ if this continues
indefinitely, the $ni"erse %ill e"entually rip itself
to shreds /the &ig >ip0. Axperimentally, the
$ni"erse has an o"erall density that is "ery
close to the critical "alue bet%een recollapse
and eternal expansion\ more careful
astronomical obser"ations are needed to
resol"e the 2uestion.
Big Bang model
Main articles: 9ig 9ang, $imeline of the 9ig
9ang, Nucleosynthesis, and 5am-da1CDM
The pre"ailing &ig &ang model accounts for
many of the experimental obser"ations
described abo"e, such as the correlation of
distance and redshift of galaxies, the uni"ersal
ratio of hydrogenZhelium atoms, and the
ubi2uitous, isotropic micro%a"e radiation
bac1ground. :s noted abo"e, the redshift arises
from the metric expansion of space\ as the
space itself expands, the %a"elength of
a photon tra"eling through space li1e%ise
increases, decreasing its energy. The longer a
photon has been tra"eling, the more expansion
it has undergone\ hence, older photons from
more distant galaxies are the most red@shifted.
9etermining the correlation bet%een distance
and redshift is an important problem in
experimental physical cosmology.
4hief nuclear reactions responsible for the relati"e
abundances of light atomic nuclei obser"ed throughout
the $ni"erse.
+ther experimental obser"ations can be
explained by combining the o"erall expansion
of space %ith nuclearand atomic physics. :s
the $ni"erse expands, the energy density of
the electromagnetic radiation decreases more
2uic1ly than does that of matter, because the
energy of a photon decreases %ith its
%a"elength. Thus, although the energy density
of the $ni"erse is no% dominated by matter, it
%as once dominated by radiation\ poetically
spea1ing, all %as light. :s the $ni"erse
expanded, its energy density decreased and it
became cooler\ as it did so, the elementary
particles of matter could associate stably into
e"er larger combinations. Thus, in the early part
of the matter@dominated era,
stable protons and neutrons formed, %hich then
associated into atomic nuclei. :t this stage, the
matter in the $ni"erse %as mainly a hot,
dense plasma of negati"e electrons,
neutral neutrinos and positi"e nuclei. 6uclear
reactions among the nuclei led to the present
abundances of the lighter nuclei,
particularly hydrogen, deuterium, and helium.
A"entually, the electrons and nuclei combined
to form stable atoms, %hich are transparent to
most %a"elengths of radiation\ at this point, the
radiation decoupled from the matter, forming
the ubi2uitous, isotropic bac1ground of
micro%a"e radiation obser"ed today.
+ther obser"ations are not ans%ered
definiti"ely by 1no%n physics. :ccording to the
pre"ailing theory, a slight imbalance
of matter o"er antimatter %as present in the
$ni"erse5s creation, or de"eloped "ery shortly
thereafter, possibly due to the 4; "iolation that
has been obser"ed by particle physicists.
:lthough the matter and antimatter mostly
annihilated one another, producing photons, a
small residue of matter sur"i"ed, gi"ing the
present matter@dominated $ni"erse. !e"eral
lines of e"idence also suggest that a
rapidcosmic inflation of the $ni"erse occurred
"ery early in its history /roughly 1*
after its creation0. >ecent obser"ations also
suggest that the cosmological constant /80 is
not ,ero and that the net mass@energy content
of the $ni"erse is dominated by a dar1
energy and dar1 matter that ha"e not been
characteri,ed scientifically. They differ in their
gra"itational effects. 9ar1 matter gra"itates as
ordinary matter does, and thus slo%s the
expansion of the $ni"erse\ by contrast, dar1
energy ser"es to accelerate the $ni"erse5s
Multiverse theory
Main articles: Multiverse, Many1worlds
interretation, 9u--le universe theory,
and /arallel universe (fiction!
9epiction of a multi"erse of se"en?bubble? uni"erses,
%hich are separatespacetime continua, each ha"ing
different physical la%s, physical constants, and perhaps
e"en different numbers of dimensions or topologies.
!ome speculati"e theories ha"e proposed that
this $ni"erse is but one of a set of disconnected
uni"erses, collecti"ely denoted as
themulti"erse, challenging or enhancing more
limited definitions of the $ni"erse.
multi"erse theories are distinct from concepts
such as alternate planes of
consciousness and simulated reality, although
the idea of a larger $ni"erse is not ne%\ for
example, &ishop ltienne Tempier of ;aris ruled
in 12## that 3od could create as many
uni"erses as he sa% fit, a 2uestion that %as
being hotly debated by the 7rench theologians.
-ax Tegmar1 de"eloped a four@
part classification scheme for the different types
of multi"erses that scientists ha"e suggested in
"arious problem domains. :n example of such
a theory is the chaotic inflation model of the
early $ni"erse.
:nother is the many@%orlds
interpretation of 2uantum mechanics. ;arallel
%orlds are generated in a manner similar
to 2uantum superposition and decoherence,
%ith all states of the %a"e function being
reali,ed in separate %orlds. Affecti"ely, the
multi"erse e"ol"es as a uni"ersal %a"efunction.
Gf the big bang that created our multi"erse
created an ensemble of multi"erses, the %a"e
function of the ensemble %ould be entangled in
this sense.
The least contro"ersial category of multi"erse in
Tegmar15s scheme is Ee"el G, %hich describes
distant space@time e"ents ?in our o%n
$ni"erse?. Gf space is infinite, or sufficiently
large and uniform, identical instances of the
history of Aarth5s entire Bubble "olume occur
e"ery so often, simply by chance. Tegmar1
calculated our nearest so@called doppelgmnger,
is 1*
meters a%ay from us /a double
exponential function larger than a googolplex0.
Gn principle, it %ould be impossible to
scientifically "erify an identical Bubble "olume.
Bo%e"er, it does follo% as a fairly
straightfor%ard conse2uence from other%ise
unrelated scientific obser"ations and theories.
Tegmar1 suggests that statistical analysis
exploiting the anthropic principle pro"ides an
opportunity to test multi"erse theories in some
cases. 3enerally, science %ould consider a
multi"erse theory that posits neither a common
point of causation, nor the possibility of
interaction bet%een uni"erses, to be an idle
Shape of the Universe
Main article: Shae of the "niverse
The shape or geometry of the $ni"erse
includes both local geometry in the obser"able
$ni"erse and global geometry, %hich %e may
or may not be able to measure. !hape can refer
to cur"ature and topology. -ore formally, the
sub[ect in practice in"estigates %hich 3@
manifold corresponds to the spatial section
in como"ing coordinates of the four@
dimensional space@time of the $ni"erse.
4osmologists normally %or1 %ith a
gi"en space@li1e slice of spacetime called
the como"ing coordinates. Gn terms of
obser"ation, the section of spacetime that can
be obser"ed is the bac1%ard light cone /points
%ithin the cosmic light hori,on, gi"en time to
reach a gi"en obser"er0. Gf the obser"able
$ni"erse is smaller than the entire $ni"erse /in
some models it is many orders of magnitude
smaller0, one cannot determine the global
structure by obser"ationZ one is limited to a
small patch.
:mong the 7riedmann.Eemahtre.>obertson.
8al1er /7E>80 models, the presently most
popular shape of the $ni"erse found to fit
obser"ational data according to cosmologists is
the infinite flat model,
%hile other 7E>8
models include the ;oincarn dodecahedral
and the ;icard horn.
The data fit
by these 7E>8 models of space especially
include the 8il1inson -icro%a"e :nisotropy
;robe /8-:;0 and ;lanc1 maps of cosmic
bac1ground radiation. 6:!: released the first
8-:; cosmic bac1ground radiation data in
7ebruary 2**3, %hile a higher resolution map
regarding ;lanc1 data %as released by A!: in
-arch 2*13. &oth probes ha"e found almost
perfect agreement %ith inflationary models and
the standard model of cosmology, describing a
flat, homogeneous uni"erse dominated by dar1
matter and dar1 energy.
See also
Astronomy portal
Space portal
>eligious cosmology
4osmic 4alendar /scaled do%n timeline0
4osmic latte
Bindu cosmolo