Main Question or Discussion Point
A recommended lecture on the age and detailed structure of the Universe, listed in reference 1.
George Smoot is a Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his work on COBE.
Primordial fluctuations simulation by Andrey Kravtsov:
1. The simulation begins where linear equations break down-about 13 billion years ago. Algorithms based on the initial conditions predicted by inflationary models of the universe reveal what appears to be a uniform blanket of dark matter.
2. That which appears uniform is not: there are small fluctuations in the density of matter created by a quantum stir billions of years ago. In a snowball effect, the fluctuations grow in size by many orders of magnitude during the inflationary expansion of the universe.
3. Galaxy distribution is strongly "biased": galaxies tend to form in clusters rather than forming uniformly across space.
4. The evolution of the cosmic structure is hierarchical: gravitational collapse first builds small objects-galaxies-and then larger structures-clusters of galaxies. Clusters tend to move toward each other and form filamentary structures, flat and elongated.
5. Voids develop between intersecting filaments, and clusters grow larger. Galaxy clusters are the most massive self-gravitating objects in the universe and therefore provide the most clues about its age, size, and ultimate fate.
6. The "present day" distribution of dark matter: if the nonbaryonic matter in the final frame were "dressed" with ordinary matter, this image would look very much like the distribution of galaxies and galaxy clusters observed in the real universe.
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