cosmic scale factor
karvand-e marpal-e keyhâni
Fr.: facteur d'échelle cosmologique
A quantity, denoted a(t), which describes how the distances between any two galaxies change with time. The physical distance d(t) between two points in the Universe can be expressed as d(t) = R(t).x, where R(t) is the → scale factor and x the → comoving distance between the points. The cosmic scale factor is related to the → redshift, z, by: 1 + z = R(t0)/R(t1), where t0 is the present time and t1 is the time at emission of the radiation. The quantity (1 + z) gives the factor by which the → Universe has expanded in size between t1 and t0. It is also related to the → Hubble parameter by H(t) = R.(t)/R(t), where R.(t) is the time → derivative of the scale factor. In an → expanding Universe the scale factor increases with time. See also the → Friedmann equation.