Vacuum Energy
Abstract
There appears to be three, perhaps related, ways of approaching the nature of vacuum energy . The first is to say that it is just the lowest energy state of a given, usually quantum, system. The second is to equate vacuum energy with the Casimir energy. The third is to note that an energy difference from a complete vacuum might have some long range effect, typically this energy difference is interpreted as the cosmological constant. All three approaches are reviewed, with an emphasis on recent work. It is hoped that this review is comprehensive in scope. There is a discussion on whether there is a relation between vacuum energy and inertia. The solution suggested here to the nature of the vacuum is that Casimir energy can produce short range effects because of boundary conditions, but that at long range there is no overall effect of vacuum energy, unless one considers lagrangians of higher order than Einstein's as vacuum induced. No original calculations are presented in support of this position. This is not a review of the cosmological constant {\it per se}, but rather vacuum energy in general, my approach to the cosmological constant is not standard.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 December 2000
 arXiv:
 arXiv:hepth/0012062
 Bibcode:
 2000hep.th...12062R
 Keywords:

 High Energy Physics  Theory;
 Astrophysics;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
 EPrint:
 An extended version of a poster presented at http://www.wits.ac.za/symp2000/index.html Lots of very small changes and additions for the second and third versions. First version 153 pages, 368 references, Second version 161 pages, 399 references, Third version 167 pages, 412 references. Background for this work can be found at: http://cosmology.mth.uct.ac.za/~roberts//pastresearch/quadratic.html