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Quantization of four-form fluxes and dynamical neutralization of the cosmological constant. (English) Zbl 0990.83543
Summary: A four-form gauge flux makes a variable contribution to the cosmological constant. This has often been assumed to take continuous values, but we argue that it has a Dirac-Teitelboim quantization condition. For a single flux the steps are much larger than the observational limit, but we show that with multiple fluxes the allowed values can form a sufficiently dense ‘discretuum’. Multiple fluxes generally arise in M theory compactifications on manifolds with non-trivial three-cycles. In theories with large extra dimensions a few four-forms suffice; otherwise of order 100 are needed. Starting from generic initial conditions, the repeated nucleation of membranes dynamically generates regions with a cosmological constant in the observational range. Entropy and density perturbations can be produced.

MSC:
83E30 String and superstring theories in gravitational theory
81T30 String and superstring theories; other extended objects (e.g., branes) in quantum field theory
83F05 Cosmology
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