General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 40, Issue 2–3, pp 607–637 | Cite as

The cosmological constant

  • Raphael BoussoEmail author
Research Article


The energy density of the vacuum, Λ, is at least 60 orders of magnitude smaller than several known contributions to it. Approaches to this problem are tightly constrained by data ranging from elementary observations to precision experiments. Absent overwhelming evidence to the contrary, dark energy can only be interpreted as vacuum energy, so the venerable assumption that Λ = 0 conflicts with observation. The possibility remains that Λ is fundamentally variable, though constant over large spacetime regions. This can explain the observed value, but only in a theory satisfying a number of restrictive kinematic and dynamical conditions. String theory offers a concrete realization through its landscape of metastable vacua.


String Theory Dark Energy Cosmological Constant Extra Dimension Vacuum Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Theoretical Physics, Department of PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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