The mystery of the cosmological constant
Abstract
The geometric structure of the universe is extremely sensitive to the value of the vacuum energy density; a constant proportional to the vacuum energy density, the 'cosmological constant', has accordingly been defined and given intensive consideration. If the value of the cosmological constant were as large as theories of elementary particles suggest, the universe would possess drastically different properties. A negative cosmological constant would produce a space with negative constant curvature, and a positive constant one with positive constant curvature. The cosmological constant has been probed by counting the number of galaxies in regions of the universe to determine the geometry of those regions.
 Publication:

Scientific American
 Pub Date:
 May 1988
 DOI:
 10.1038/scientificamerican0588106
 Bibcode:
 1988SciAm.258e.106A
 Keywords:

 Constants;
 Cosmology;
 Quantum Mechanics;
 Vacuum;
 Galaxies;
 Gravitational Fields;
 Space Density;
 Astrophysics