Friday, August 17, 2012

Notable New Physics Preprints

A Reasonable Ab Initio Cosmological Constant Without Holography by Aaron D. Trout (Submitted on 15 Aug 2012)

We give a well-motivated explanation for the origin of dark energy, claiming that it arises from a small residual negative scalar-curvature present even in empty spacetime. The vacuum has this residual curvature because spacetime is fundamentally discrete and there are more ways for a discrete geometry to have negative curvature than positive. We explicitly compute this effect in the well-known dynamical triangulations (DT) model for quantum gravity and the predicted cosmological constant . . . agrees with observation.

A similar analysis explains the non-integer magnetic moment of the electron.

Structural Aspects Of Gravitational Dynamics And The Emergent Perspective Of Gravity by T. Padmanabhan (Submitted on 7 Aug 2012))

I describe several conceptual aspects of a particular paradigm which treats the field equations of gravity as emergent. These aspects are related to the features of classical gravitational theories which defy explanation within the conventional perspective. The alternative interpretation throws light on these features and could provide better insights into possible description of quantum structure of spacetime.


On the physical mechanism underlying Asymptotic Safety by Andreas Nink and Martin Reuter (Submitted on 31 Jul 2012)

We identify a simple physical mechanism which is at the heart of Asymptotic Safety in Quantum Einstein Gravity (QEG) according to all available effective average action-based investigations. Upon linearization the gravitational field equations give rise to an inverse propagator for metric fluctuations comprising two pieces: a covariant Laplacian and a curvature dependent potential term. By analogy with elementary magnetic systems they lead to, respectively, dia- and paramagnetic-type interactions of the metric fluctuations with the background gravitational field. We show that above 3 spacetime dimensions the gravitational antiscreening occurring in QEG is entirely due to a strong dominance of the ultralocal paramagnetic interactions over the diamagnetic ones that favor screening. (Below 3 dimensions both the dia- and paramagnetic effects support antiscreening.) The spacetimes of QEG are interpreted as a polarizable medium with a "paramagnetic" response to external perturbations, and similarities with the vacuum state of Yang-Mills theory are pointed out. As a by-product, we resolve a longstanding puzzle concerning the beta function of Newton's constant in 2+ε dimensional gravity.

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