"The age of the universe is 14 billion years" Which observers' are these time intervals? According to whom 14 billion years?

Almintas2l 2022-07-21 Answered
"The age of the universe is 14 billion years"
Which observers' are these time intervals? According to whom 14 billion years?
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Answers (1)

Tristan Pittman
Answered 2022-07-22 Author has 14 answers
An observer with zero comoving velocity (i.e. zero peculiar velocity). Such an observer can be defined at every point in space. They will all see the same Universe, and the Universe will look the same in all directions ("isotropic").
Note that here an "idealized" Universe described by the FLRW metric:
d s 2 = a 2 ( τ ) [ d τ 2 d χ 2 f K 2 ( χ ) ( d θ 2 + sin 2 θ d ϕ 2 ) ]
where a ( τ ) is the "scale factor" and:
f K ( χ ) = sin χ i f ( K = + 1 )
f K ( χ ) = χ i f ( K = 0 )
f K ( χ ) = sinh χ i f ( K = 1 )
and τ is the conformal time:
τ ( t ) = 0 t c d t a ( t )
The peculiar velocity is defined:
v p e c = a ( t ) χ ˙ ( t )
so the condition of zero peculiar velocity can be expressed:
χ ˙ ( t ) = 0 t
The "age of the Universe" of about 14 G y r you frequently hear about is a good approximation for any observer whose peculiar velocity is non-relativistic at all times. In practice these are the only observers we're interested in, since peculiar velocities for any bulk object (like galaxies) tend to be non-relativistic. If you happened to be interested in the time experienced by a relativistic particle since the beginning of the Universe, it wouldn't be terribly hard to calculate.
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