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I Cosmological constant estimation in QFT

  1. May 30, 2017 #1
    My question is about the interpretation of the large estimated value. In QM we are supposed to think in terms of measurement results and not of ontological properties. So, if QFT predicts a large vacuum energy what is the correct approach?

    1. The predicted value is the result you get if you measure the vacuum energy.
    2. The predicted value is an intrinsic property of the vacuum and should therefore gravitate.


  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2017 #2


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    Well, the predictions are off by 120 orders of magnitude, which means some assumptions are incorrect. The QFT vacuum energy isn't something that is measured, but just defined. The zero point of energy is completely arbitrary in every field of physics except for general relativity. So you could use GR to define the "measured" vacuum energy, and try to look for ways to get that value in QFT. So far, unsuccessful.
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