We argue that the discrepancy between the Planck mass scale and the observed value of the cosmological constant can be largely attenuated, if those quantities are understood as a result of effective, and thus scale-dependent, couplings. We exemplify this mechanism for the early inflationary epoch of the universe by solving the corresponding effective gap equations, subject to an energy condition. Several non-trivial checks and extensions are discussed. A comparison of our results to the renormalization group flow, obtained within the asymptotic safety program reveals a stunning agreement.
- modified gravity