The weight of vacuum fluctuations

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Abstract

We examine the gravitational properties of Lamb shift energies. Using available experimental data we show that these energies have a standard gravitational behavior at the level of ∼ 10- 5. We are motivated by the point of view that Lamb shift energies may be interpreted as a consequence of vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. If this is the case, our result is a test of the gravitational properties of quantum fluctuations. The result is of interest in relation to the problem of the zero-point energy contribution to the cosmological constant. Indeed, the problem presupposes that the zero-point energy gravitates as all other forms of energy, and this supposition is what we test. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-435
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
Volume679
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2009

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