Problems with the cosmological constant problem

Publication Year:
2017
Usage 490
Downloads 490
Social Media 5
Tweets 5
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14244
Author(s):
Koberinski, Adam
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
conference paper description
The cosmological constant problem is widely viewed as an important barrier and hint to merging quantum field theory and general relativity. It is a barrier insofar as it remains unsolved, and a solution may hint at a fuller theory of quantum gravity. I critically examine the arguments used to pose the cosmological constant problem, and find many of the steps poorly justified. In particular, there is little reason to accept an absolute zero point energy scale in quantum field theory, and standard calculations are badly divergent. It is also unclear exactly how a semiclassical treatment of gravity would include a vacuum energy contribution to the total stress-energy. Large classes of solution strategies are also found to be conceptually wanting. I conclude that one should not accept the cosmological constant problem as standardly stated.