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Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe

Erik P. Verlinde

SciPost Phys. 2, 016 (2017) · published 16 May 2017


Recent theoretical progress indicates that spacetime and gravity emerge together from the entanglement structure of an underlying microscopic theory. These ideas are best understood in Anti-de Sitter space, where they rely on the area law for entanglement entropy. The extension to de Sitter space requires taking into account the entropy and temperature associated with the cosmological horizon. Using insights from string theory, black hole physics and quantum information theory we argue that the positive dark energy leads to a thermal volume law contribution to the entropy that overtakes the area law precisely at the cosmological horizon. Due to the competition between area and volume law entanglement the microscopic de Sitter states do not thermalise at sub-Hubble scales: they exhibit memory effects in the form of an entropy displacement caused by matter. The emergent laws of gravity contain an additional 'dark' gravitational force describing the 'elastic' response due to the entropy displacement. We derive an estimate of the strength of this extra force in terms of the baryonic mass, Newton's constant and the Hubble acceleration scale $a_0$ =$cH_0$, and provide evidence for the fact that this additional 'dark gravity force' explains the observed phenomena in galaxies and clusters currently attributed to dark matter.

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Anti-de Sitter (AdS) space Area law (for entanglement) Black holes Cosmological horizon Dark energy Dark matter Emergence Entanglement Entanglement entropy Gravity Quantum gravity Quantum information String theory Volume law (for entanglement) de Sitter space

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