November 26 - 28, 2004


E. Regos (Budapest):


Casimir Effect: Running Newton Constant or Cosmological Term



We argue that the instability of Euclidean Einstein gravity is an indication that the vacuum is non perturbative and contains a condensate of the metric tensor in a manner reminiscent of Yang-Mills theories. As a simple step toward the characterization of such a vacuum the value of the one-loop effective action is computed for Euclidean de Sitter spaces as a function of the curvature when the unstable conformal modes are held fixed. Two phases are found, one where the curvature is large and an IR Landau pole suggests confinement of gravitons and another one which appears to be weakly coupled and tends to be flat. The induced cosmological constant is positive or negative in the strongly or weakly curved phase, respectively. The relevance of the Casimir effect in understanding the UV sensitivity of gravity is pointed out.

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