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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Predicting the Cosmological Constant from the Causal Entropic Principle


We compute the expected value of the cosmological constant in our universe from the Causal Entropic Principle. Since observers must obey the laws of thermodynamics and causality, the principle asserts that physical parameters are most likely to be found in the range of values for which the total entropy production within a causally connected region is maximized. Despite the absence of more explicit anthropic criteria, the resulting probability distribution turns out to be in excellent agreement with observation. In particular, we find that dust heated by stars dominates the entropy production, demonstrating the remarkable power of this thermodynamic selection criterion. The alternative approach-weighting by the number of "observers per baryon" -- is less well-defined, requires problematic assumptions about the nature of observers, and yet prefers values larger than present experimental bounds.

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