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Cosmic time, or cosmological time, is the
time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various me ...

time
coordinate In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position o ...

coordinate
commonly used in the
Big Bang The Big Bang theory A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic ...

Big Bang
models of
physical cosmology Physical cosmology is a branch of cosmology concerned with the study of cosmological models. A cosmological model, or simply cosmology, provides a description of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of the universe and allows study of fun ...
. Such time coordinate may be defined for a
homogeneous Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the sciences Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about th ...
, expanding universe so that the universe has the same
density The density (more precisely, the volumetric mass density; also known as specific mass), of a substance is its per unit . The symbol most often used for density is ''ρ'' (the lower case Greek letter ), although the Latin letter ''D'' can also ...

density
everywhere at each moment in time (the fact that this is possible means that the universe is, by definition, homogeneous). The
clock A clock or a timepiece is a device used to measure and indicate time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past ...

clock
s measuring cosmic time should move along the Hubble flow. Cosmic time t is a measure of time by a physical clock with zero Peculiar velocity#Cosmology, peculiar velocity in the absence of matter over-/under-densities (to prevent time dilation due to relativistic effects or confusions caused by expansion of the universe). Unlike other measures of time such as temperature, redshift, particle horizon, or Hubble horizon, the cosmic time (similar and complementary to the comoving coordinates) is blind to the expansion of the universe. There are two main ways for establishing a reference point for the cosmic time. The most trivial way is to take the present time as the cosmic reference point (sometimes referred to as the lookback time). Alternatively, the
Big Bang The Big Bang theory A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic ...

Big Bang
may be taken as reference to define t as the age of the universe, also known as time since the big bang. The current physical cosmology estimates age of the universe, the present age as 13.8 billion years.How Old is the Universe?
/ref> The t=0 doesn't necessarily have to correspond to a physical event (such as the cosmological singularity) but rather it refers to the point at which the scale factor would vanish for a standard cosmological model such as ΛCDM. For instance, in the case of inflation, i.e. a non-standard cosmology, the hypothetical moment of big bang is still determined using the benchmark cosmological models which may coincide with the end of the inflationary epoch. For technical purposes, concepts such as the average temperature of the universe (in units of eV) or the particle horizon are used when the early universe is the objective of a study since understanding the interaction among particles is more relevant than their time coordinate or age. Cosmic time is the standard time coordinate for specifying the Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker metric, Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker solutions of Einstein's equations.


See also

* Chronology of the universe * Cosmic Calendar * Cosmological horizon


Notes


References

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Cosmic time Physical cosmology, Time Astronomy Coordinate systems Time