- #1

AndreasC

Gold Member

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In cosmology, thecosmological constant problemorvacuum catastropheis 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.

But on the other hand, as far as I know and if I'm not mistaken, zero point energy is not a physical thing, and it is merely a mathematical artifact in QFT. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that. So if that is the case, then why is it a "problem" that it does not "agree" with the cosmological constant? Isn't trying to plug it into general relativity to calculate the cosmological constant just a non-sensical idea to begin with? It certainly seems so to given that the calculations are off by I don't know how many orders of magnitude (I found a paper claiming that the typical figures of 120 orders of magnitude deviation are not correct, and it is instead "only" about 60. It doesn't seem that much better to me).