#### Abstract

A mechanism for suppressing the cosmological constant is developed, based on an analogy with a superconducting phaseshift in which free fermions coupled perturbatively to a weak gravitational field are in an unstable false vacuum state. The coupling of the fermions to the gravitational field generates fermion condensates with zero momentum and a phase transition induces a nonperturbative transition to a true vacuum state by producing a positive energy gap $\Delta$ in the vacuum energy, identified with $\sqrt{\Lambda}$, where $\Lambda$ is the cosmological constant. In the strong coupling limit a large cosmological constant induces a period of inflation in the early universe, followed by a weak coupling limit in which $\sqrt{\Lambda}$ vanishes exponentially fast as the universe expands due to the dependence of the energy gap on the density of Fermi surface fermions, $D({\epsilon})$, predicting a small cosmological constant in the present universe. (Refer to PDF for exact formulas.)

#### Publication Date

2004

#### Document Type

Article

#### Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)

#### Recommended Citation

Alexander, Stephon; Mbonye, Manasse; and Moffat, John, "The gravitational instability of the vacuum: insight into the cosmological constant problem" (2004). Accessed from

http://scholarworks.rit.edu/article/1198

#### Campus

RIT – Main Campus

## Comments

Also archived at: arXiv:hep-th/0406202 v1 23 Jun 2004 The work of SHSA is supported by the US DOE under grant DE-AC03-76SF00515. Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.