Why is the apparent cosmological constant zero?

  • S. W. Hawking
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 160)


The apparent cosmological constant is measured to be zero with an accuracy greater than that for any other quantity in Physics. On the other hand one would expect a large induced cosmological constant unless the various contributions from symmetry breaking, etc., were balanced against each other to better than 1 part in 1040 It is suggested that this puzzle can be resolved by assuming that quantum state of the universe is not chosen at random but contains only states with a very large Euclidean 4-volume. In this situation the actual value of the cosmological constant is unobservable. There are solutions of the Einstein equations with a large cosmological constant which appear nearly flat on large length scales but which are highly curved and topologically complicated on very small length scales. Estimates are made of the spectrum of these topological fluctuations and of their effects on the propagation of particles.


Cosmological Constant Einstein Equation Euler Number Bose Condensation Cosmological Term 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    S. Ferrara, E. Cremmer, B.Julia, J. Scherk, P. van Nieuwenhuizen & L. Girardello. Nuc.Phys. B147, 105, (1979).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    S. W. Hawking, Nuc. Phys. B144, 349 (1978).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    S. W. Hawking, in General Relativity: An Einstein Centenary Survey ed. S. W. Hawking & W. Israel, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1979.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    S. W. Hawking, in Recent Developments in Gravitation, Plenum Press (1979).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    G. W. Gibbons & S. W. Hawking, Phys.Rev, D15, 2752–6 (1977).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Zim-Justin, Phys.Reps. 70, 109–167 (1981).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    W. Siegel & J. Gates, Nuc.Phys. B147, 77–104 (1979).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    E. S. Fradkin & A. A. Tseytlin, Higher Derivative Quantum Gravity: One-Loop Counterterms & Asymptitic Freedom, Lebedev Institute preprint 1981.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    S. W. Hawking, D. N. Page & C. N. Pope, Nuc.Phys. B170, 283–306 (1980).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    J. Ellis, M. R. Gaillard & B. Zumino, Phys.Letts. 94B, 343–348 (1980).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. W. Hawking
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations