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Author Topic: Does the expansion of space create more energy?  (Read 1460 times)

Offline SOFUxKING

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Does the expansion of space create more energy?
« on: 08/08/2010 20:52:32 »
Does the expansion  of space create more energy?


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Does the expansion of space create more energy?
« Reply #1 on: 08/08/2010 23:51:18 »
This is a very interesting question. The precise mechanism by which space expands is not to my knowledge part of our cosmological models  it is taken as a given property of our universe.  I find this rather unsatisfactory and think that any self respecting theory of everything must include an explanation of this process.

To try to answer the question  The initial reaction is no it does not create more energy because nothing has happened.  however things are further apart and therefore gravitational collapse could in theory yield more energy so the potential energy has increased.  On the other hand the expansion process has created the red shift and this (as discussed elsewhere in this forum) has caused photons to lose energy by becoming lower frequency so one might say that the expansion of space has absorbed energy from the photons.  There may also be other processes involved in this for example pair production of particles in high energy situations that play a pert in the energy budget.  It might be interesting to try to work out an overall budget of energy flow in an expanding universe

 

Offline Jon Francis

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Does the expansion of space create more energy?
« Reply #2 on: 09/08/2010 01:41:24 »
I think to answer this question it would be important to understand whether space is expanding or stretching? If space is expanding then this would imply adding to, which could mean energy may be added. I understand that at the quantum level, energy is spontaneously created or destroyed? If space is expanding through stretching then this implies that the energy already existing just spreads thinner?
 

Offline graham.d

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Does the expansion of space create more energy?
« Reply #3 on: 09/08/2010 09:11:25 »
This is all subject to much speculation. The standard model (Friedman-LeMaitre-Robertson-Walker Model) can explain the the accelerating expansion of the universe (this "seems" to be what is happening from the most recent observations) by the expansion encompassing more vacuum energy as the expansion continues and by using a negative value for the cosmological constant - so despite the increasing energy (mass) the universe expansion accelerates.

As SS says, the whole concept is unsatisfactory, particularly as there is no candidate for the vacuum energy that is close to being numerically reasonable - the value from QM (see Casimir effect) is 10^120 too large, which is a fairly big error by any standard :-) We are trying to fit a model which is probably wrong in some major way but which serves well in many other regards. A scientific breakthrough is required!
 

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Does the expansion of space create more energy?
« Reply #3 on: 09/08/2010 09:11:25 »

 

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