Λ and the limits of effective field theory

Philosophy of Science:1-26 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

The cosmological constant problem stems from treating quantum field theory and general relativity as an effective field theory. We argue that the problem is a reductio ad absurdum, and that one should reject the assumption that general relativity can generically be treated as an EFT. This marks a failure of naturalness, and an internal signal that EFT methods do not apply in all spacetime domains. We then take an external view, showing that the assumptions for using EFTs are violated in general relativistic domains where Λ is relevant. We highlight some ways forward that do not depend on naturalness.

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Author Profiles

Adam Koberinski
University of Pittsburgh
Chris Smeenk
University of Western Ontario

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