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Gravitational vacuum energy in our recently accelerating universe

Abstract

We review current observations of the homogeneous cosmological expansion which, because they measure only kinematic variables, cannot determine the dynamics driving the recent accelerated expansion. The minimal fit to the data, the flat ΛCDM\Lambda CDM model, consisting of cold dark matter and a cosmological constant, interprets 4Λ4\Lambda geometrically as a classical spacetime curvature constant of nature, avoiding any reference to quantum vacuum energy. (The observed Uehling and Casimir effects measure forces due to QED vacuum polarization, but not any quantum material vacuum energies.) An Extended Anthropic Principle, that Dark Energy and Dark Gravity be indistinguishable, selects out flat ΛCDM\Lambda CDM. Prospective cosmic shear and galaxy clustering observations of the growth of fluctuations are intended to test whether the 'dark energy' driving the recent cosmological acceleration is static or moderately dynamic. Even if dynamic, observational differences between an additional negative-pressure material component within general relativity (Dark Energy) and low-curvature modifications of general relativity (Dark Gravity) will be extremely small.Comment: 3 pages, from Proceedings of the Casimir Workshop, to be published by IOP in Journal of Physics Conference Serie

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    Last time updated on 03/12/2019