As the microscopic structure of the deep relativistic quantum vacuum is unknown, a phenomenological approach (q-theory) has been proposed to describe the vacuum degrees of freedom and the dynamics of the vacuum energy after the Big Bang. The original q-theory was based on a four-form field strength from a three-form gauge potential. However, this realization of q-theory, just as others suggested so far, is rather artificial and does not take into account the fermionic nature of the vacuum. We now propose a more physical realization of the q-variable. In this approach, we assume that the vacuum has the properties of a plastic (malleable) fermionic crystalline medium. The new approach unites general relativity and fermionic microscopic (trans-Planckian) degrees of freedom, as the approach involves both the tetrad of standard gravity and the elasticity tetrad of the hypothetical vacuum crystal. This approach also allows for the description of possible topological phases of the quantum vacuum.
- COSMOLOGICAL CONSTANT