cosmological constant


Definition of cosmological constant

: a constant term used in the relativistic equations for gravity to represent a repulsive force which may account in part for the rate of expansion of the universe

Examples of cosmological constant in a Sentence

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About 20 years ago, astrophysicists discovered that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, driven by an incredibly small source of energy infused in space, known as the cosmological constant. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Mourn Joe Polchinski, Developer of Deep Ideas and Paradoxes," 20 Feb. 2018 Albert Einstein introduced the cosmological constant in 1917 as an additional term in the equation of gravity. Quanta Magazine, "Finding Dark Energy in the Details," 18 Sep. 2014 These missions could help resolve the tension by clarifying whether dark energy behaves like Einstein’s cosmological constant or something wildly different. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Cosmic Conflict: Diverging Data on Universe’s Expansion Polarizes Scientists," 16 May 2018 The basic theory, which assumes a cosmological constant, became known as Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM). Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Galaxy simulations are at last matching reality—and producing surprising insights into cosmic evolution," 30 May 2018 The price of solving the cosmological constant problem would be to give up the Einsteinian hope of explaining the universe. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Joseph Polchinski, 63, Leading Theorist on Multiple Universes, Dies," 7 Feb. 2018 This cosmological constant allowed for a stable universe. NBC News, "Einstein made his share of errors. Here are three of the biggest," 14 Mar. 2018 The work on counting universes arose from an effort to understand a fudge factor known as the cosmological constant, an antigravitational force associated with empty space that Einstein invented in 1917 to explain why the universe was stable. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Joseph Polchinski, 63, Leading Theorist on Multiple Universes, Dies," 7 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cosmological constant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cosmological constant

1928, in the meaning defined above

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11 Jul 2019

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The first known use of cosmological constant was in 1928

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