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Title: The universe in a soap film
Authors: Katti, Rohit
Samuel, J.
Sinha, Supurna
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd.
Citation: Classical and Quantum Gravity, 2009, Vol.26, 135018
Abstract: The value of the cosmological constant is one of the major puzzles of modern cosmology: it is tiny but nonzero. Sorkin predicted, from the Causet approach to quantum gravity, that the cosmological constant has quantum fluctuations. The predicted order of magnitude of the fluctuations agrees with the subsequently observed value of the cosmological constant. We had earlier developed an analogy between the cosmological constant of the universe and the surface tension of fluid membranes. Here we demonstrate by computer simulations that the surface tension of a fluid membrane has statistical fluctuations stemming from its discrete molecular structure. Our analogy enables us to view these numerical experiments as probing a small and fluctuating cosmological constant. Deriving insights from our analogy, we show that a fluctuating cosmological constant is a generic feature of quantum gravity models and is far more general than the specific context in which it was originally proposed. We pursue and refine the idea of a fluctuating cosmological constant and work towards making further testable predictions.
Description: Restricted Access. An open-access version is available at (one of the alternative locations)
ISSN: 0264-9381
1361-6382 (online)
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Copyright: 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Appears in Collections:Research Papers (TP)

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