The Weight of the Vacuum

A Scientific History of Dark Energy

  • Helge S. Kragh
  • James M. Overduin

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Physics book series (SpringerBriefs in Physics)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 1-6
  3. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 7-12
  4. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 13-18
  5. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 19-27
  6. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 29-38
  7. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 39-46
  8. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 47-56
  9. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 57-65
  10. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 67-76
  11. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 77-87
  12. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 89-99
  13. Helge S. Kragh, James M. Overduin
    Pages 101-110
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 111-113

About this book

Introduction

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the discovery of cosmic acceleration due to dark energy, a discovery that is all the more perplexing as nobody knows what dark energy actually is. We put the modern concept of cosmological vacuum energy into historical context and show how it grew out of disparate roots in quantum mechanics (zero-point energy) and relativity theory (the cosmological constant, Einstein's “greatest blunder”). These two influences have remained strangely aloof and still co-exist in an uneasy alliance that is at the heart of the greatest crisis in theoretical physics, the cosmological-constant problem.

Keywords

Cosmological Constant Cosmological Vacuum Energy Cosmological-constant Problem Dark Energy Ether in Physics History of Cosmology Inflation in the Early Universe Vacuum Energy Variable Physical Constants Zero-point Energy

Authors and affiliations

  • Helge S. Kragh
    • 1
  • James M. Overduin
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Science StudiesAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Physics, Astronomy and GeosciencesTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-55090-4
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-55089-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-55090-4
  • Series Print ISSN 2191-5423
  • Series Online ISSN 2191-5431
  • About this book