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A Explaining Dark Energy

  1. May 16, 2017 #1
    William Unruh and co-authors recently published the following interesting paper where they claim to explain the observed value of cosmological constant or dark energy by taking into account the gravity of the vacuum energy of quantum field theory, which they assume is not homogeneous.

    How the huge energy of quantum vacuum gravitates to drive the slow accelerating expansion of the Universe

    Qingdi Wang, Zhen Zhu, and William G. Unruh


    We investigate the gravitational property of the quantum vacuum by treating its large energy density predicted by quantum field theory seriously and assuming that it does gravitate to obey the equivalence principle of general relativity. We find that the quantum vacuum would gravitate differently from what people previously thought. The consequence of this difference is an accelerating universe with a small Hubble expansion rate H∝Λe−β√GΛ→0 instead of the previous prediction H=√8πGρvac/3∝√GΛ2→∞ which was unbounded, as the high energy cutoff Λ is taken to infinity. In this sense, at least the “old” cosmological constant problem would be resolved. Moreover, it gives the observed slow rate of the accelerating expansion as Λ is taken to be some large value of the order of Planck energy or higher. This result suggests that there is no necessity to introduce the cosmological constant, which is required to be fine tuned to an accuracy of 10−120, or other forms of dark energy, which are required to have peculiar negative pressure, to explain the observed accelerating expansion of the Universe.


    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2017 #2


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  4. May 19, 2017 #3
    Thanks for the links!

    I know Bill Unruh. He said that they are currently working on modifying the theory to be able to explain the inflationary era in addition to the apparent dark energy.
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