Preludes to dark energy: zero-point energy and vacuum speculations

  title={Preludes to dark energy: zero-point energy and vacuum speculations},
  author={Helge Kragh},
  journal={Archive for History of Exact Sciences},
  • H. Kragh
  • Published 20 November 2011
  • Physics
  • Archive for History of Exact Sciences
According to modern physics and cosmology, the universe expands at an increasing rate as the result of a “dark energy” that characterizes empty space. Although dark energy is a modern concept, some elements in it can be traced back to the early part of the twentieth century. I examine the origin of the idea of zero-point energy, and in particular how it appeared in a cosmological context in a hypothesis proposed by Walther Nernst in 1916. The hypothesis of a zero-point vacuum energy attracted… 
One hundred years of the cosmological constant: from “superfluous stunt” to dark energy
Abstract We present a centennial review of the history of the term known as the cosmological constant. First introduced to the general theory of relativity by Einstein in 1917 in order to describe a
Historical aspects of post-1850 cosmology
Cosmology as an exact physical science is of new date, but it has long roots in the past. This essay is concerned with four important themes in the history of cosmological thought which, if taken
The Darkness of Dark Matter and Dark Energy
  • D. Nath
  • Physics, Education
    International Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences (IJEAS)
  • 2018
The visible universemdashincluding Earth, the sun, other stars, and galaxiesmdashis made of protons, neutrons, and electrons bundled together into atoms. Perhaps one of the most surprising
Century of Λ
Abstract The cosmological constant was proposed 100 years ago in order to make the model of static Universe, imagined then by most scientists, possible. Today it is the main candidate for the
On possible composite structure of scalar fields in expanding universe
Scalar fields in curved backgrounds are assumed to be composite objects. As an example realizing such a possibility we consider a model of the massless tensor field l µν ( x ) in a 4-dim. background g
Origin of Consciousness and Zero Point Field
Yukawa coupling of scalar fields of Nambu-Goldstone bosons and Dirac fields of electrons creates interference pattern. Nambu-Goldstone bosons emerge from the quantum electric dipole field of the
Gravitational Dispersion Forces and Gravity Quantization
It is shown that the recently published results about gravitational dispersion forces can be obtained without quantizing the gravitational field, and this evolutionary process is explored from a historical point of view.
What’s the Problem with the Cosmological Constant?
The “Cosmological Constant Problem” (CCP) is widely considered a crisis in contemporary theoretical physics. Unfortunately, the search for its resolution is hampered by open disagreement about what
2 The “ Cosmological Constant Problem ” Is Not a Problem ( For Current Theory )
The title of this paper is confused, of course; what is a (scientific) problem if not something intended to be solved? But the “Cosmological Constant Problem” (CCP) is not strictly a problem for our


The Cosmological Constant and Dark Energy
Physics invites the idea that space contains energy whose gravitational effect approximates that of Einstein's cosmological constant, Lambda: nowadays the concept is termed dark energy or
Dark energy: back to Newton?
Dark energy is one of the biggest mysteries in science. In this article the origin of the concept is traced as far back as Newton and Hooke in the 17th century. Newton considered, along with the
Continual Fascination: The Oscillating Universe in Modern Cosmology
Argument Until the mid-nineteenth century the age-old idea of a cyclic or oscillating universe belonged to philosophical and religious discourse, with little connection to the physical and
Zero‐point energy in early quantum theory
In modern physics the vacuum is not a tranquil void but a quantum state with fluctuations having observable consequences. The present concept of the vacuum has its roots in the zero‐point energy of
The Concept of Particle Creation before and after Quantum Mechanics
"One of the most important results in the recent development of electron theory," Victor Weisskopf wrote in the mid-thirties, "is the possibility of transforming electromagnetic field energy into
Planck's Half-Quanta: A History of the Concept of Zero-Point Energy
Max Planck introduced the concept of zero-point energy in spring 1911. In the early struggles to establish the concept of the energy-quantum, it provided a helpful heuristic principle, to guide as
The invented universe : the Einstein-De Sitter controversy (1916-17) and the rise of relativistic cosmology
Part 1 Cosmological enquiries into the nature of physical science: Newtonian versus Einsteinian questions variations on a non-Euclidean theme. Part 2 From a universal physics to a physics of the
QED and the Men Who Made It: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger and Tomonaga
In the 1930s, physics was in crisis. There appeared to be no way to reconcile the new theory of quantum mechanics with Einstein's theory of relativity. Several approaches had been tried and had
Vacuum energy in a Friedmann-Lemaître cosmos
The age of our Galaxy has been derived from two different sets of Th/U ratio measurements in meteorites to be 20.8 (+ 2, 4 ) or (17.6 +4)109 years [28, 27]. This implies a lower limit for the age of
The Rise of Big Bang Models, from Myth to Theory and Observations
We provide an epistemological analysis of the developments of relativistic cosmology from 1917 to 2006, based on the seminal articles by Einstein, de Sitter, Friedmann, Lemaitre, Hubble, Gamow and