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Title: Hiding the Cosmological Constant

Abstract

Perhaps standard effective field theory arguments are right, and vacuum fluctuations really do generate a huge cosmological constant. I show that if one does not assume homogeneity and an arrow of time at the Planck scale, a very large class of general relativistic initial data exhibit expansions, shears, and curvatures that are enormous at small scales, but quickly average to zero macroscopically. Subsequent evolution is more complex, but I argue that quantum fluctuations may preserve these properties. The resulting picture is a version of Wheeler’s “spacetime foam,” in which the cosmological constant produces high curvature at the Planck scale but is nearly invisible at observable scales.

Authors:
ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP)
OSTI Identifier:
1566933
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1595536
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-91ER40674
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physical Review Letters Journal Volume: 123 Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; quantum gravity; cosmological constant; spacetime foam

Citation Formats

Carlip, S. Hiding the Cosmological Constant. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.131302.
Carlip, S. Hiding the Cosmological Constant. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.131302.
Carlip, S. Fri . "Hiding the Cosmological Constant". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.131302.
@article{osti_1566933,
title = {Hiding the Cosmological Constant},
author = {Carlip, S.},
abstractNote = {Perhaps standard effective field theory arguments are right, and vacuum fluctuations really do generate a huge cosmological constant. I show that if one does not assume homogeneity and an arrow of time at the Planck scale, a very large class of general relativistic initial data exhibit expansions, shears, and curvatures that are enormous at small scales, but quickly average to zero macroscopically. Subsequent evolution is more complex, but I argue that quantum fluctuations may preserve these properties. The resulting picture is a version of Wheeler’s “spacetime foam,” in which the cosmological constant produces high curvature at the Planck scale but is nearly invisible at observable scales.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.131302},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 13,
volume = 123,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.123.131302

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 9 works
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    The Cosmological Constant From Planckian Fluctuations and the Averaging Procedure
    journal, November 2019