The cosmological constant is one of the most pressing problems in modern physics. In this Letter, we address the issue of its nature and computation using an analogue gravity standpoint as a toy model for an emergent gravity scenario. Even if it is well known that phonons in some condense matter systems propagate like a quantum field on a curved spacetime, only recently it has been shown that the dynamics of the analogue metric in a Bose-Einstein condensate can be described by a Poisson-like equation with a vacuum source term reminiscent of a cosmological constant. Here we directly compute this term and confront it with the other energy scales of the system. On the gravity side of the analogy, this model suggests that in emergent gravity scenarios it is natural for the cosmological constant to be much smaller than its naif value computed as the zero-point energy of the emergent effective field theory. The striking outcome of our investigation is that the value of this constant cannot be easily predicted by just looking at the ground state energy of the microscopic system from which spacetime and its dynamics should emerge. A proper computation would require the knowledge of both the full microscopic quantum theory and a detailed understanding about how Einstein equations emerge from such a fundamental theory. In this light, the cosmological constant appears even more a decisive test bench for any quantum/emergent gravity scenario.
|Titolo:||The cosmological constant: a lesson from Bose-Einstein condensates|
|Autori:||Finazzi S.; Liberati S; Sindoni L.|
|Rivista:||PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.071101|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|