Relaxation of vacuum energy in q-theory

F. R. Klinkhamer*, M. Savelainen, G. E. Volovik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The q-theory formalism aims to describe the thermodynamics and dynamics of the deep quantum vacuum. The thermodynamics leads to an exact cancellation of the quantum-field zero-point-energies in equilibrium, which partly solves the main cosmological constant problem. But, with reversible dynamics, the spatially flat Friedmann–Robertson–Walker universe asymptotically approaches the Minkowski vacuum only if the Big Bang already started out in an initial equilibrium state. Here, we extend q-theory by introducing dissipation from irreversible processes. Neglecting the possible instability of a de-Sitter vacuum, we obtain different scenarios with either a de-Sitter asymptote or collapse to a final singularity. The Minkowski asymptote still requires fine-tuning of the initial conditions. This suggests that, within the q-theory approach, the decay of the de-Sitter vacuum is a necessary condition for the dynamical solution of the cosmological constant problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-277
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Nuclei
  • Particles
  • Fields
  • Gravitation
  • Astrophysics


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