A spacetime-independent variable is introduced which characterizes a Lorentz-invariant self-sustained quantum vacuum. For a perfect (Lorentz-invariant) quantum vacuum, the self-tuning of this variable nullifies the effective energy density which enters the low-energy gravitational field equations. The observed small but nonzero value of the cosmological constant may then be explained as corresponding to the effective energy density of an imperfect quantum vacuum (perturbed by, e.g., the presence of thermal matter).
- cosmological constant
- self-sustained quantum vacuum