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Keywords:

  • Mach's principle;
  • Kaluza-Klein cosmology;
  • Cosmological constant

Abstract

A 5D Machian generalization of Einstein's theory of gravitation is described in which the cosmological constant appears as the contribution of the rest of the universe to the gravitational field of an “isolated” source. This work amounts to a Machian interpretation of the Kaluza-Klein theory. The standard cosmological models are derived in this framework, and it is shown that - in conformity with the interpretation presented here - the cosmological constant does not directly contribute to the geometric description of the universe as a whole.