Prolegomena to a theory of bifurcating universes: A nonlocal solution to the cosmological constant problem or little lambda goes back to the future

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Abstract

We outline a framework for describing the bifurcation of the universe into disconnected pieces, and formulate criteria for a system in which such phenomena occur, to describe local quantum physics in a single connected universe. The formalism is a four-dimensional analog of string field theory which we call Universal Field Theory (UFT). We argue that local dynamics in a single universe is a good approximation to UFT if the universal field is classical and if the vertex for emission of a new connected component of the universe is concentrated on universes of small volume. We show that classical UFT is equivalent to a Wheeler-DeWitt equation for a single connected universe plus a set of nonlocal gap equations for the couplings in the spacetime lagrangian. The effective action must be stationary with respect to the couplings. Nonlicality shoes up only at short distances. We solve the equation for the low-energy cosmological constant and show that if the universe undergoes substantial inflation then the cosmological constant is determined to be negative and very small. Its precise value may depend on the fate of nonrelativistic matter in the very late stages of universal expansion. Finally, we argue that corrections to the classical UFT are nonlocal and must be suppressed if the theory is to make sense. This may be the reason that supersymmetric vacua of string theory are not realized in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-512
Number of pages20
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Volume309
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 14 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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