Is dark energy observer dependent?

  • #1
Khashishi
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If yes, does dark energy define a frame of absolute rest?

In the Einstein field equations, the cosmological constant is just a scalar, so it is independent of frame. But, sometimes, the cosmological constant is described as being a kind of vacuum energy density. Wouldn't a vacuum energy density be frame dependent? Or is it assumed that the vacuum energy density is always combined with a negative vacuum pressure density which cancels out the frame dependence?
 

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  • #2
PeterDonis
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No. Dark energy is Lorentz invariant, whether you view it as a cosmological constant or as a vacuum energy density, since both appear the same way in the GR equations.

is it assumed that the vacuum energy density is always combined with a negative vacuum pressure density which cancels out the frame dependence?

It's not "assumed"; it's required by the equations. Dark energy (whether it's a cosmological constant or a vacuum energy density) appears in the equations as a constant that multiplies the metric; that means that in any local inertial frame, it looks like a positive energy density and an isotropic negative pressure that both have the same magnitude.
 
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