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Title: Surface tension and the cosmological constant
Authors: Samuel, J.
Sinha, Supurna
Issue Date: Oct-2006
Publisher: The American Physical Society
Citation: Physical Review Letters, 2006, Vol.97, p161302
Abstract: One of the few predictions from quantum gravity models is Sorkin's observation that the cosmological constant has quantum fluctuations originating in the fundamental discreteness of spacetime at the Planck scale. Here we present a compelling analogy between the cosmological constant of the Universe and the surface tension of fluid membranes. The discreteness of spacetime on the Planck scale translates into the discrete molecular structure of a fluid membrane. We propose an analog quantum gravity experiment which realizes Sorkin's idea in the laboratory. We also notice that the analogy sheds light on the cosmological constant problem, suggesting a mechanism for dynamically generating a vanishingly small cosmological constant. We emphasize the generality of Sorkin's idea and suggest that similar effects occur generically in quantum gravity models.
ISSN: 0031-9007
1079-7114 (online)
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Copyright: (2006) by the American Physical Society
Appears in Collections:Research Papers (TP)

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