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Stress-energy connection: Degravitating the vacuum energy
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This talk summarizes recent studies on the gravitational properties of vacuum energy in a non-Riemannian geometry formed by the stress-energy tensor of vacuum, matter and radiation. Postulating that the gravitational effects of matter and radiation can be formulated by an appropriate modification of the spacetime connection, we obtain varied geometro-dynamical equations which properly comprise the usual gravitational field equations with, however, Planck-suppressed, non-local, higher-dimensional additional terms. The prime novelty brought about by the formalism is that, the vacuum energy does act not as the cosmological constant but as the source of the gravitational constant. The formalism thus deafens the cosmological constant problem by channeling vacuum energy to gravitational constant. Nevertheless, quantum gravitational effects, if any, restore the problem via the graviton and graviton-matter loops, and the mechanism proposed here falls short of taming such contributions to cosmological constant.