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Scientific article
English

Early dark energy from zero-point quantum fluctuations

Published inPhysics letters. B, vol. 704, no. 3, p. 102-107
Publication date2011
Abstract

We examine a cosmological model with a dark energy density of the form ρDE(t)=ρX(t)+ρZ(t)ρDE(t)=ρX(t)+ρZ(t), where ρXρX is the component that accelerates the Hubble expansion at late times and ρZ(t)ρZ(t) is an extra contribution proportional to H2(t)H2(t). This form of ρZ(t)ρZ(t) follows from the recent proposal that the contribution of zero-point fluctuations of quantum fields to the total energy density should be computed by subtracting the Minkowski-space result from that computed in the FRW space–time. We discuss theoretical arguments that support this subtraction. By definition, this eliminates the quartic divergence in the vacuum energy density responsible for the cosmological constant problem. We show that the remaining quadratic divergence can be reabsorbed into a redefinition of Newtonʼs constant only under the assumption that ∇μ〈0|Tμν|0〉=0∇μ〈0|Tμν|0〉=0, i.e. that the energy–momentum tensor of vacuum fluctuations is conserved in isolation. However in the presence of an ultra-light scalar field X with mX

Keywords
  • Early dark energy
  • Cosmological constant
  • Vacuum fluctuations
Citation (ISO format)
MAGGIORE, Michele et al. Early dark energy from zero-point quantum fluctuations. In: Physics letters. B, 2011, vol. 704, n° 3, p. 102–107. doi: 10.1016/j.physletb.2011.09.010
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ISSN of the journal0370-2693
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