Astronomy

The Vacuum Catastrophe

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If vacuum energy really does have the enormous value predicted by quantum field theory then our gently expanding, geometrically flat universe shouldn’t exist. This is the vacuum catastrophe.

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Let’s talk about vacuum energy from a theoretical standpoint. From the perspective of quantum field theory, every point in space is represented by a quantum oscillator; one for each elementary particle type. Higher energy oscillations represent the presence of real particles. However even the lowest possible energy oscillation – the one corresponding to the absence of particles – has some energy.

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