Instability of de Sitter Space & Dynamical Dark Energy

Cosmological vacuum energy does not remain constant for the same reason that a uniform electric field cannot persist indefinitely in the presence of quantum fluctuations. The decay rate of the Bunch-Davies state of QFT in de Sitter space due to particle creation is calculated in real time by the same method as that for an electric field, giving Schwinger’s result.  In both the electric field and de Sitter cases the particles created are verified to be real, in that they persist in the final asymptotic region if the background field is switched off. The energy density of the particles decreases the vacuum energy and the Hubble expansion rate.

The sensitivity to infrared physics of this decay rate requires that gravitational backreaction be taken into account on the horizon scale. A Linear Response analysis shows the relevance of the scalar degree of freedom of the conformal anomaly to de Sitter instability, backreaction and screening of vacuum energy. The conformalon scalar gives rise to cosmological horizon modes that can generate the primordial density fluctuations observed in the CMB anisotropy, and lead to dynamical, spacetime dependent dark energy. Possible observational tests of the conformal quantum origin of primordial density fluctuations is suggested by the prediction of equality of scalar and tensor weights spectral indices, and the bispectral shape function of non-Gaussian correlations in the CMB.

Event Type: 
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Monday, December 3, 2018 - 16:30 to 18:00
Space Room
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