Ask Ethan: Can The Universe Ever Expand Faster Than The Speed Of Light?
“In the first millionths of a second of the Big Bang did the universe not expand faster than the speed of light?”
You know it as the most fundamental law of relativity: that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. And yet, the observable Universe itself, which has been around for 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang, is now 46.1 billion light years in radius. If everything were contracted down to a tiny volume of space, it seems that such a size would be impossible to achieve. Unless, somehow, space itself were expanding faster than the speed of light. As it turns out, though, not only is it still true that nothing can travel faster than light, but space itself doesn’t even expand at a speed at all! The reason for the confusion is that space expands at a speed-per-unit-distance, which allows the Universe to expand, light to redshift, and galaxies to appear to recede, all without exceeding the cosmic speed limit at all.
the angsty gay art kid who hates literally every other person even though everyone respects him.
honors student but still rollin in the hoes and always in trouble. makes really long political posts and gets into fights on facebook. gets expelled for his schemes.
the chill art kid that smokes a lot of weed and is loved by everyone. gets even more women than machiavelli.
leonardo da vinci:
jack of all trades nerd who smokes even more weed than raphael. loves animals. actual genius.
queen bee. owns every boy in the school. uses them for test answers.
the other it girl. has it all: style, grace, gets amazing grades. fucking hates lucrezia for stealing her man.
angry alcoholic football coach. may be a huge dick but gets results and the school worships him. bisexual art hoe also somehow.
the sugar daddy principal. knows how to run the school and keep people in order. talks big game on expanding art and science programs.
that one sly fucking math teacher. knows when you're cheating (because his class is too hard) and exacts punishment swiftly. flirts with other teachers in the lounge.
the puritanical disciplinarian. convinced the entire student body is evil and does everything in his power to stop their debauchery. hates rodrigo in particular. would light the whole school on fire if he could.
school drug kingpin who put every other petty dealer out of business. spiked the punch at prom. has a knife fetish.
silent freak. everyone's afraid of her. bookish. could probably kill cesare if she tried but she gets her weed from him.
school secretary who constantly embezzles money to buy weird exotic pets at shady conventions. never seen without a literal buffet on his desk. kinda creepy.
disgruntled student who talks a lot of shit and writes graffiti in the bathroom stalls about all the fucked up shit people are doing.
His fingers fist in Jack’s collar as he slams him against the wall.
“Have you lost your damn mind!?” Dark shouts, not even wincing at the sound of Jack’s head hitting the stone wall. “You stupid, stupid child!”
Jack doesn’t look the least bit sorry, the bruise around his eye already purpling, but Dark didn’t put that mark there. The stained bandages around Jack’s fingers fray, tickling against Dark’s trembling skin as Jack’s hands move to touch the fingers coarsely wrapped in his shirt. He’s so stable, all of a sudden, like none of this bothers him, like he hasn’t just signed his entire life away, in the blink of an eye.
“I’m not a child,” Jack says, voice rough, eyes glassy. “A child wouldn’t have made the decision I did.”
“Because a child has more sense than you,” Dark seethes. His knuckles burn white, and he fears he may choke Jack just to alleviate him from this decidedly horrible fate. “You’ve signed your death warrant, but only if you’re lucky. You’ve condemned yourself to hell. You stupid boy! You stupid–!”
Without thinking, he raises a hand, punching him hard against the face. Jack coughs, struggling against Dark’s hold, but he doesn’t let up. Yanking him forward, he slams him back against the wall, the boy hissing at the pressure. Blood dribbles out of his nose, and he coughs. “Dark–”
“Shut up!” he spits, clenching a hand hard around his throat. “Shut up, shut up, shut up! You’re not a hero, Jack! You’ve played a game, and you’ve lost!”
“I’m not trying to be a hero,” Jack grits out, squeezing his wrist tight. “Do you really have no faith in me?”
“You won’t win,” Dark presses down on his throat, not hard enough to cut off his breathing, but enough as a warning of what’s to come. “You can’t beat them, Jack. I can’t beat them.”
“I’m not you,” Jack sneers. “Because you’re nothing but a coward. You’ve never even tried to free yourself. You hate it here so much, you hate bowing to everyone’s whim, but you’ve never tried. So fuck you, even if I die, at least I died trying to do the one thing you never did: get your ass free.”
Scoffing, Dark pulls his hand away, watching Jack’s fingers roam his throat. The bruises will show up tomorrow, no doubt, the skin already raw and angry.
“Fool,” Dark huffs. “You didn’t bet for my freedom. You didn’t bet with the King of Nether for my freedom. You bet for my contract. Even if you did win, it’d be no different, except I’d be bowing to you.”
Jack looks down, taking a slow, labored breath. Dark runs his messy fingers through his hair, frustrated with this turn of events. When he met Jack, it was meant to be for fun, something colorful in a dull world, and now it’s devolved into possibly the worst thing ever. Not only will the King own Dark, but Jack as well, and who knows what he’ll make the two of them do.
Perhaps he can bargain his way out of it. Offer something up in exchange for Jack. Because Dark doesn’t want to know what he’ll do to Jack, now knowing what he means to him.
“I’m going to save you,” Jack declares, breaking the silence. Dark glances at him, and his blue eyes blaze with conviction. “Whether you believe me or not. I am going to save you. You and I–we’re both going to walk out of here. I promise.”
He seems so serious, then, like he truly thinks he will. Dark finds it endearing, so he smiles, though it doesn’t reach his eyes.
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” Dark says, and then he’s throwing open the door, Jack’s eyes burning into his back as he leaves.
❝Jump in❞ Sehun told you when you followed him out of the house and into the back garage. Outside the dark sky was already taking over everything, the lampposts outside Mina’s house were slowly switching on and your heart was beating way too fast.
Mr Oh looked heavenly while he sat in his grey 612 Scaglietti, meanwhile you salivated just watching the car. Of course you’ve seen sport cars, but this - this was you sitting inside of it, this was out of anything you dreamed about.
How Big Was The Universe At The Moment Of Its Creation?
“We like to extrapolate our Universe back to a singularity, but inflation takes the need for that completely away. Instead, it replaces it with a period of exponential expansion of indeterminate length to the past, and it comes to an end by giving rise to a hot, dense, expanding state we identify as the start of the Universe we know. We are connected to the last tiny fraction of a second of inflation, somewhere between 10^(-30) and 10^(-35) seconds worth of it. Whenever that time happens to be, where inflation ends and the Big Bang begins, that’s when we need to know the size of the Universe.”
13.8 billion years ago, the Universe as we know it came into existence. Today, the part we can observe is 46 billion light years in radius, having grown tremendously thanks to the expansion of the Universe. But if we extrapolate that backwards, we find that the Universe couldn’t have been infinitely small at the moment of its birth, but rather was a finite size at all finite times. We know an awful lot about the moment the Universe can first be described by the hot Big Bang thanks to the last 50 years of modern cosmology. People used to think the Universe could be contained in a volume no bigger than a marble, or that the part accessible to us could have been the size of the Solar System at birth. No more!
Jean Blumenthal and Eva Ruiz had been inseperable long before they became Jean Berenson and — well, Eva Ruiz, because that’s just the sort of person Eva was. Eva did not change or bend for anyone. Within the first twenty-four hours of their introductions Eva had the bookish and shy Jean dancing with a stranger, all while wearing a halter top and floral print pants that sat VERY low on the hip. Eva pulled people into her orbit, and anyone who was chosen by her loved it. Eva had coaxed Jean out of a shell Jean hadn’t even known she’d built. Jean’s return influence on Eva was, at most, occasionally convincing her not to punch someone. Being Eva Ruiz’s best friend was a point of pride for Jean, even if Eva was constantly on the verge of getting Jean killed or worse — ruining her perfect GPA.
I was too young to know anything beyond the cold and wet hellscape that was Geneva in the middle of a blizzard, and too small to make much noise and tiny plumes of steam were slowly getting lighter and lighter with each strangled mew. How she managed to see my tiny form as my white fur disappeared in the blinding snow, I don’t know, but when hands covered in a pleasantly warm armor reached to scoop me from the snow bank, I tried to push my tiny form as close as I could to the quiet thrumming of whatever system encased her. I remember giant golden beams of light like bird wings opening with a pneumatic hiss.
I would understand these things only after she’d taken me home with her and nursed me back to health, telling me of how she found me in the gentlest voice I’d ever known.
Mom was delightfully warm. My favorite spot was curled against her chest, breathing the sharp smell of her hyper sterile work environment and vanilla. Occasionally, she smelled like the fire from the hearth she sat in front of to read. Her books varied from small enough to hold in one hand while her fingers played through my fur to those she would have to lean uncomfortably to read, monstrous things nearly as large as the cushion where they rested.
Mother said that Mom enjoyed simpler things from simpler times. I’m not really sure what she meant, but they would share a private laugh about it sometimes, and Mother would lean down and trace her fingers along Mom’s cheek before kissing her. I would glance between them briefly before resting my chin on my paws to sleep once again.
They introduced me to Macaroon after I started to get comfortable with the main room of the house. By introduced, I mean more so that they made the decision to allow him to roam the house as normal once again.
I was very startled when the large black cat came prowling around to lay in front of the fire at Mom’s feet. In my defense, I had not known that there was any other room aside from the large space I had come to know, and I had heard nothing from the older cat.
The first thing I heard was a low growl like a warning. I stayed in Mom’s laugh as she squinted, worrying a nail I the hand not currently stroking over my back. Mother came to her side to rest her hands on her shoulders, kissing the top of her head and pulling her hand gently away to stop the insistent biting.
“It will take time, but have faith.”
The first time I approached the older cat, I received a cold reception of raised hackles and a threatening growl. A paw raised in defense, ready to swipe at me if I got too close.
In a number of tries later, it had turned to a softer growl. I was able to get closer and closer over the time, but I had received a few baps from a paw far too impatient to deal with my young curiosity.
Our mothers would often joke that we looked like a Yin Yang when we curled into one another, though Macaroon’s size still dwarfed my own. Apparently, Mom had never been able to reverse the weight from years ago. I had also grown quite large over time.
Mother said it was too appropriate that Mom had named me Streusel. Their two plump fur babs, named for deserts.