The Cosmological Constant

Sean M. Carroll  
Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics and
Physics Department
California Institute of Technology 452-48
1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125
and (at the time of writing)
Enrico Fermi Institute and Department of Physics
University of Chicago
5640 S. Ellis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637, U.S.A.

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This is a review of the physics and cosmology of the cosmological constant. Focusing on recent developments, I present a pedagogical overview of cosmology in the presence of a cosmological constant, observational constraints on its magnitude, and the physics of a small (and potentially nonzero) vacuum energy.

NB: The author will not update this review anymore, however, some of its topics are subject of other reviews. In May 2008, the article was republished in the revised Living Reviews layout, therefore the pagination has changed. The publication number lrr-2001-1 has not been altered.

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