Abstract:
This is a review of the physics and cosmology of the cosmological constant. Focusing on recent developments, I present a pedagogical overview of cosmology in the presence of a cosmological constant, observational constraints on its magnitude, and the physics of a small (and potentially nonzero) vacuum energy.

Abstract:
This is a review of the physics and cosmology of the cosmological constant. Focusing on recent developments, I present a pedagogical overview of cosmology in the presence of a cosmological constant, observational constraints on its magnitude, and the physics of a small (and potentially nonzero) vacuum energy.

Abstract:
In the framework of a model of minimal of dilatonic gravity (MDG) with cosmological potential we consider: the relations of MDG with nonlinear gravity and string theory; natural cosmological units, defined by cosmological constant; the properties of cosmological factor, derived from solar system and Earth-surface gravitational experiments; universal anty-gravitational interactions, induced by positive cosmological constant and by Nordtved effect; a new formulation of cosmological constant problem using the ratio of introduced cosmological action and Planck constant $\sim 10 ^{122}$;qualitative analysis of this huge number based on classical action of effective Bohr hydrogen atoms; inverse cosmological problem: to find cosmological potential which yields given evolution of the RW Universe; and comment other general properties of MDG.

Abstract:
Contrary to popular mythology, Einstein did not invent the cosmological constant just in order construct his model universe. He discussed it earlier in "The Foundations of General Relativity" in connection with the proper structure of the source-free field equations. There he dismissed it as arbitrary and unnecessary. It was later that he found its inclusion to be essential to the construction of his model.

Abstract:
The bending of light in Kottler space (the Schwarzschild vacuum with cosmological constant) is examined. Unlike the advance of the perihelion, the cosmological constant produces no change in the bending of light. In this note we examine the conditions under which this statement holds.

Abstract:
Quintessence -- the energy density of a slowly evolving scalar field -- may constitute a dynamical form of the homogeneous dark energy in the universe. We review the basic idea in the light of the cosmological constant problem. Cosmological observations or a time variation of fundamental `constants' can distinguish quintessence from a cosmological constant.

Abstract:
A diverse set of observations now compellingly suggest that Universe possesses a nonzero cosmological constant. In the context of quantum-field theory a cosmological constant corresponds to the energy density of the vacuum, and the wanted value for the cosmological constant corresponds to a very tiny vacuum energy density. We discuss future observational tests for a cosmological constant as well as the fundamental theoretical challenges---and opportunities---that this poses for particle physics and for extending our understanding of the evolution of the Universe back to the earliest moments.

Abstract:
In quantum field theory the parameters of the vacuum action are subject to renormalization group running. In particular, the ``cosmological constant'' is not a constant in a quantum field theory context, still less should be zero. In this paper we continue with previous work, and derive the particle contributions to the running of the cosmological and gravitational constants in the framework of the Standard Model in curved space-time. At higher energies the calculation is performed in a sharp cut off approximation. We assess, in two different frameworks, whether the scaling dependences of the cosmological and gravitational constants spoil primordial nucleosynthesis. Finally, the cosmological implications of the running of the cosmological constant are discussed.

Abstract:
We consider an effective field theory description of gravity coupled to a scalar field with volume-preserving diffeomorphism and Weyl invariances. The smallness of the cosmological constant is achieved when the potential of the scalar is extremely flat. This implies a possible relationship between the smallness and the quintessential sector of the cosmological constant.