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Measuring the Curvature of the Universe with Cosmic Clocks

15 Dec 2020, 17:00 UTC
Measuring the Curvature of the Universe with Cosmic Clocks
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Editor’s note: Astrobites is a graduate-student-run organization that digests astrophysical literature for undergraduate students. As part of the partnership between the AAS and astrobites, we occasionally repost astrobites content here at AAS Nova. We hope you enjoy this post from astrobites; the original can be viewed at astrobites.org.
Title: Eppur è piatto? The cosmic chronometer take on spatial curvature and cosmic concordance
Authors: Sunny Vagnozzi, Abraham Loeb, Michele Moresco
First Author’s Institution: Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Status: Submitted to ApJ
Though astronomers have been studying the universe for hundreds of years, there are still a lot of things we do not know about it. We do not know whether it is finite or infinitely large, and we cannot determine its overall shape. Nevertheless, we know that we can describe the universe with a four-dimensional spacetime, the combination of our three-dimensional space and time. This spacetime is not rigid, but can be distorted and deformed by the content of the universe, like a bowling ball distorts a spandex sheet. The matter (and energy) also changes how the space part of spacetime is curved — and we can measure this curvature.
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