Journal of Low Temperature Physics

, Volume 124, Issue 1–2, pp 25–39 | Cite as

Vacuum Energy and Cosmological Constant: View from Condensed Matter

  • G. E. Volovik


The condensed matter examples, in which the effective gravity appears in thelow-energy corner as one of the collective modes of quantum vacuum, providea possible answer to the question, why the vacuum energy is so small. Thisanswer comes from the fundamental “trans-Planckian” physics of quantum liquids. In the effective theory of the low energy degrees of freedom the vacuum energy density is proportional to the fourth power of the corresponding“Planck” energy appropriate for this effective theory. However, from the exact “Theory of Everything” of the quantum liquid it follows that its vacuum energy density is exactly zero without fine tuning, if: there are no external forces acting on the liquid; there are no quasiparticles which serve as matter; no space-time curvature; and no boundaries which give rise to the Casimireffect. Each of these four factors perturbs the vacuum state and induces anonzero value of the vacuum energy density, which is on the order of theenergy density of the perturbation. This is the reason, why one must expectthat in each epoch the vacuum energy density is on the order of the matterdensity of the Universe, or/and of its curvature, or/and of the energy density of the smooth component–the quintessence.


Energy Density Magnetic Material External Force Vacuum State Fine Tuning 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. E. Volovik
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Low Temperature LaboratoryHelsinki University of TechnologyFinland
  2. 2.L.D. Landau Institute for Theoretical PhysicsMoscowRussia

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