Normalizing the Einstein-Hilbert action by the volume functional makes the theory invariant under constant shifts in the Lagrangian. The associated field equations then resemble unimodular gravity whose otherwise arbitrary cosmological constant is now determined as a Machian universal average. We prove that an empty space-time is necessarily Ricci tensor flat, and demonstrate the vanishing of the cosmological constant within the scalar field paradigm. The cosmological analysis, carried out at the mini-superspace level, reveals a vanishing cosmological constant for a universe which cannot be closed as long as gravity is attractive. Finally, we give an example of a normalized theory of gravity which does give rise to a non-zero cosmological constant.
|Journal||Classical and Quantum Gravity|
|State||Published - 24 Nov 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)