The Quantum Vacuum and the Cosmological Constant Problem

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Rugh, Svend E., Zinkernagel, Henrik
preprint description
The cosmological constant problem arises at the intersection between general relativity and quantum field theory, and is regarded as a fundamental problem in modern physics. In this paper we describe the historical and conceptual origin of the cosmological constant problem which is intimately connected to the vacuum concept in quantum field theory. We critically discuss how the problem rests on the notion of physically real vacuum energy, and which relations between general relativity and quantum field theory are assumed in order to make the problem well-defined.

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Cosmological constant

In cosmology, the cosmological constant (usually denoted by the Greek capital letter lambda: Λ) is the value of the energy density of the vacuum of space. It was originally introduced by Albert Einstein in 1917 as an addition to his theory of general relativity to "hold back g...

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Cosmological constant problem

In cosmology, the cosmological constant problem or vacuum catastrophe is the disagreement between the observed values of vacuum energy density (the small value of the cosmological constant) and theoretical large value of zero-point energy suggested by quantum field theory.Depe...

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Casimir effect

In quantum field theory, the Casimir effect and the Casimir–Polder force are physical forces arising from a quantized field. They are named after the Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir who predicted them in 1948. The typical example is of the two uncharged conductive plates in a ...

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